How children in a science-centered preschool use science process skills while engaged in play activities



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Self-motivated activities, or play, that children choose to engage in are manifestations of a variety of science process skills being used to construct knowledge about their environment. While many people agree that science skills should be fostered at an early age, due to the possible positive influence of a wider base of experiential knowledge and the development of a love of science, there is a lack of research available to support the development of early childhood science curriculum (Bredekamp & Copple, 1997, Brenneman, Stevenson-Boyd & Frede, 2009). This study follows the daily activities of four- and five-year-old children attending a science-based preschool in the southwestern United States. The play activities of the children were observed for their use of the science process skills of observing, comparing, classifying, measuring, communicating, inferring, predicting and experimenting. A wide range of play activities centered around the foundational skills of observing, comparing, measuring, communicating and inferring. The teachers and students combine to create a unique environment promoting excitement and exploration.