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Best Brains in Science Under Five: Helping Children Develop Intentionality

by Judy Harris Helm
January/February 2009
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/best-brains-in-science-under-five-helping-children-develop-intentionality/5018550/

What might happen if the children in our classrooms developed efficient, productive minds, a What might happen if the children in our classrooms developed efficient, productive minds, a determination to use them, and joy in doing so? Would they be better able to solve world problems when they grow up? What would minds like that look like and how can we support that development?

We can begin by looking at adults that do that today and see what they are like. In December 2008, Discover Magazine profiled the Best Brains in Science Under 40 (5 under 20 years). Daniel Burd, age 17, with great persistence designed and redesigned his own experiments until he developed a plastic that degrades faster reducing what goes in landfills. Says Daniel, “I just got tired of all the plastic bags falling on my head every time I opened the closet.” Terence Tao, one of the most prolific mathematicians in the nation describes his thinking, “Research feels like an ongoing TV series . . . there are still plenty of cliff-hangers and unresolved plotlines that you want to see resolved, but unlike TV, we have to do the work ourselves.” Doug Natelson, a condensed matter physicist, captures ...

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