Well today I’m relaxing and watching the latest season of Eureka, which sounds like it’ll be the last. I really like this quirky little show about a small town where all of the best scientists live and work. I think the best part is getting a glimpse into possible future technologies. I find myself feeling inspired and I think that good science fiction could inspire students to explore science. I remember reading Tom Swift as a child and that inspiring my young explorations. I was lucky to have parents who provided me with things like a microscope kit and chemistry kit so I was able to explore. I enjoyed my solo explorations much better than the directed experiments in science class because of the possibility of “something” happening. Sadly nothing great was ever created through my explorations in fact we’re probably lucky I didn’t blow up the house of create toxic fumes when I started introducing and mixing household cleaning chemicals into it. I think this is the feeling that teachers are hoping to create when they engage in inquiry learning practices. I can attest that for me inquiry learning was powerful. Starting with a goal that is engaging and interesting to the learner and giving them the tools to work towards that goal. So the true key piece in inquiry learning is engaging the child’s imagination. Maybe that means using a movie clip, a story book or a tv show but once that spark of imagination is engaged anything becomes possible.
Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere.
Imagination has brought mankind through the dark ages to its present state of civilization. Imagination led Columbus to discover America. Imagination led Franklin to discover electricity.
L. Frank Baum
Trust that little voice in your head that says ‘Wouldn’t it be interesting if…’; And then do it.