The Conversation's Curious Kids comes to the classroom

​​​​​​​​​​Four Victorian primary schools recently had the opportunity to participate in live Curious Kids workshops with academic experts, led by The Conversation editor Sunanda Creagh.

​On Australian news and perspectives website The Conversation, the Curious Kids section finds experts to answer inquisitive children's questions.

Baden Powell College's Year 5 and 6 students have been learning about the brain. The Florey Institute neuroscientist Dr David Farmer visited the school to the answer their questions about sleeping, sleepwalking, getting the hiccups and more.​​

Dr Farmer says that kids ask the 'good, big important questions.' 

'I think scientists are people who never stopped asking those questions,' Dr Farmer says.

Year 5/6 student Jaxon says 'it was really awesome'. 

'Nearly everyone asked a question, and he managed to answer all of them,' Jaxon says.

At Neerim South Primary School, the Bureau of Meteorology's Justin Peter met students who have been studying the water cycle, and answered queries on an astonishing array of subjects including oceans, storms, lightning and clouds.

The school's Science Specialist Natasha Brown says 'the students were impressed with meeting a real life scientist who answered every question and could relate to them so well.'

Ms Brown says she will continue to promote curiosity in learning. 'If we stop wondering, we have no motivation to learn,' Ms Brown says. 

'I think giving the children ownership of their work is an extremely important aspect of effective learning and their unrelenting curiosity - which I hope lasts forever.'

La Trobe University anatomy expert Dr Brooke Huuskes visited Year 5 students at Ringwood North Primary School, who have been learning about health and wellbeing.

The students asked about the future of health, breathing, diseases, why we need sleep and how we see.

'When I was these kids' age, I had no idea that science was an actual career path, so I think it's really great that we're getting out there and inspiring kids, getting them to stay curious about science,' Dr Huuskes says.

Brandon Park Primary School's Year 5 students have been studying animal adaptation.

Their Science Teacher Skye Paice says the chance to hear first-hand from La Trobe University ecology and evolution experts, Dr Amy Edwards and Danielle Eastick, has brought the subject to life.

'Students were enthralled by a real scientist coming to our school and explaining the answers to so many student animal questions,' Skye says.

'When one student asked a question, it prompted others to relate it to a past wonder that they had in mind – it was like a domino effect. You could see light switches on in their brains and a few more hands went up.'

Dr Edwards says she thinks the session went 'really well.'

'To keep a group of 10-year-olds engaged for over an hour is just incredible,' Dr Edwards says.

'It gives them the idea that they can grow up to be a scientist – particularly for the young girls.'

'I think when I grow up, I'll be a zoologist too,' says Brandon Park Primary School Year 5 student Ayaka.

'Now I wanna do more research on it so I know better,' says Year 5 student Ryan.

The Conversation

The Conversation is one of our education partners. The Conversation's articles are written by academics with subject expertise, and are useful educational resources, in and outside of the classroom.

The Conversation published the answers to some of the questions from the workshops:

If you know a curious kid, you can submit a question with their name, age and city they live in to curiouskids@theconversation.edu.au