At Little Scientists, we use the Inquiry Cycle to help scaffold the STEM inquiry process for educators and children. This forms the base for the scientific method that is just like the process grown-up scientists use.
Talking through hypotheses at the beginning emphasises knowledge sharing. The collaboration during explorations and the following discussion of result and observations has been proven to help increase communication skills.
The Inquiry Cycle helps to make the scientific research process obvious to both educators and children (and parents!), and discussing it highlights and makes explicit another useful skill: metacognition, the process of thinking about one’s thinking. Metacognition refers to the process used to plan, assess and monitor one’s understanding and results. Using the Inquiry Cycle and talking about the process of inquiry with children helps develop the critical awareness of oneself as a learner and highlights to children their own thinking and learning. Discussing why they think a STEM activity has resulted in a particular outcome, such as why they think an object has sunk and comparing it to a differing point of view is a process that can highlight their own metacognition. This ability to reflect on what has happened within the STEM activity and to reflect on one’s own learning is another vital skill.
Use our book recommendations to help you spark a conversation that leads children to discover STEM in their everyday lives.
Child-led inquiry and spotting STEM in the everyday isn’t always easy in our busy everyday lives so we have created these resources for inspiration.
We showcase our favourite early STEM projects from our community of Little Scientists Houses and beyond.