Science Clubs for 3 to 6-year-olds: Science with Joy of Learning and Achievement
Small child has a natural ability to ask, wonder, and explore. In the spring 2013, Finland’s Science Education Centre LUMA, operating within University of Helsinki, targeted its traditional Jippo science clubs for the first time for children as young as 3 to 6 years of age. This article discusses the model for the club and experiences from its implementation in the first stage of a design research project. The aims of the developed Pikku-Jipot (Little Jippos) science club model are to train the inquiry, thinking, and discussion skills of small children, and support the comprehensive social and emotional learning (SEL) through the joy of learning and achievement. The science club with six sessions was implemented during the spring 2013 for 3 to 4 and 5 to 6-year-old children. In total, 25 children and their guardians participated in the club activities. The developed model combined science, technology, art, and emotions through stories, inquiry, role-playing, and music. According to the guardians, the goals of the first science club were reached very well. According to the feedback from the children, especially the characters played by the club guides proved to be a rousing model.