At an early age, all children have the capacity and propensity to observe, explore, and discover the world around them (NRC 2012). These are basic abilities for science learning that can and should be encouraged and supported among children in the earliest years of their lives. The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) affirms that learning science and engineering practices in the early years can foster children’s curiosity and enjoyment in exploring the world around them and lay the foundation for a progression of science learning in K–12 settings and throughout their entire lives.
This statement focuses primarily on children from age 3 through preschool. NSTA recognizes, however, the importance of exploratory play and other forms of active engagement for younger children from birth to age 3 as they come to explore and understand the world around them. This document complements NSTA’s position statement on elementary school science (NSTA 2002) that focuses on science learning from kindergarten until students enter middle or junior high.
Source: National Science Teacher’s Association
Available at: http://www.nsta.org/about/positions/earlychildhood.aspx