Highlights of the Experience
Fun experiments introduce preschoolers to basic science concepts like viscosity, color mixing, air resistance, gas formation, corrosion, magnets, force and motion, simple machines, acid and base reactions, and more. It's a hands-on blast and every child will be called a scientist! Early exposure to scientific thinking and the importance of collaboration and teamwork are core drivers of the experience.
Social Emotional Learning
Good SEL sets the stage for good cognitive learning. Kids learn the culture of sharing materials and equipment, taking turns with steps of the experiment, building vocabulary, handling frustration, learning from each other's mistakes, reflecting on what went well and what needed improvement, and building executive functioning skills. Some aspects of SEL are equally important if not more so than the science learning itself at this stage!
Questions and Hypotheses
Asking questions, surfacing assumptions, and testing hypotheses forms the foundation of a growth mindset that kids will find helpful in all future walks of life. Before we start any experiment, we ask questions: "Which one will go faster down the tube, honey or soap?" "What will happen when we mix red and yellow?" "Will changing the location of a weight on a boat affect whether the boat floats or sinks?" "What will happen when we put gummies in salt water for a long time?"
Throughout the experiments, kids are motivated to pay close attention to fast-paced changes in their sensory inputs, and asked to make verbal observations. "What do you see now?" "I see holes making in the ice cubes!" "Can I touch them to be sure?" "They feel tickly" "What do you smell right now?" "It looks like chocolate but it smells like a salad sauce" "Do you see faster or slower bubbles coming up?" For exciting parts of experiments, we allow for repetition of steps if kids want to experience the best parts over and over!
Early Exposure to Terms and Concepts
We work up the kids' curiosity about what is happening, so they begin to yearn for a name for the phenomenon. We end the experiences by learning basic terms and concepts, then ask the kids to state the learnings in their own words: "What did putting the vinegar and baking soda together make?" Kids say "Lots of bubbles!" "Yes, that's called a gas. Can you say gas?" "So a gas is formed when an acid like vinegar and a base like baking soda come together." "Can you tell me which two things came together to make our gas today?"
Collaboration and Etiquette
Along the way, we encourage collaboration: "Scientists work together! They share materials and they talk to each other about learnings." We ask the kids to care for equipment, and to tidy the lab bench after each experiment. This instills a sense of responsibility and good etiquette: "Scientists need to clean up at the end of their experiments and keep a tidy lab bench!"
Every child is addressed as a "Scientist." Every child takes their turns in executing steps or tasks within the experiment: "Scientist Zoe, would you please drop the ice cubes in?" "Scientist Sydney would you please clamp the tube to the frame?" "Scientist Charlotte, it's your turn to pour!" We embrace mistakes, let ourselves go off script sometimes to see why the steps do matter. And we learn that that some of the best scientific discoveries were made by accident!
It is a Blast!
Lab benches are fully stocked with preschooler-sized test tubes, beakers, magnifying glasses, funnels, eyedroppers, flasks, safety goggles, and more. Building executive functioning skills, learning from each other's mistakes, expanding vocabulary, are all part of the fun and learning in this class. Early exposure to problem-solving and scientific thinking, and the importance of collaboration and teamwork are core drivers of the experience.
About the Founder
Hi there! My name is Evelyn, and I have two girls, ages four and two. They are native San Franciscans and love to do science experiments and to make new friends! I'm passionate about early childhood education, social emotional learning, and exposing young kids to big concepts in fun and impactful ways. I have degrees in biomedical and electrical engineering and economics from Duke University, as well as a masters in bioengineering. Education has long been in my soul and my family. I've shared the story what inspires this program in great detail on the next page, for anyone who is curious! Fueled by heritage and inspiration, I'm driven to contribute to the learning outcomes in our youngest generation of learners, by curating innovative, hands-on, project-based experiences that spark long-term growth mindset. My goal is to make science joyful, intuitive, and available to more kids - hopefully offering them widely across multiple San Francisco neighborhoods. Hope you'll join us!