Explore and Experiment: Reflect and Apply

Explore and Experiment: Reflect and Apply

True wonder leads to more wondering. Find ways to spark learners’ sense of wonder that will inspire them to engage in scientific practices to pursue answers. Use a self-assessment check to reflect on what you are doing supporting your learners around exploring and experimenting,  identify an area to improve.


4 - 12+


Biology, Storytelling, Experiential Learning, Photography

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This is part 3 or 3 in the Explore and Experiment Learning Package

Exploring and Experimenting is one learning strategy that can be used to cultivate wonder in young learners. To support this kind of exploring and experimenting around wonders, educators can follow a process that supports learners in:

  1. Developing a Sense of Wonder
  2. Narrowing a Focus
  3. Making Space for Exploring and Experimenting.

Taking learners on a Wonder Walk is a great activity for sparking those initial wonders. Helping them shape their wonders into questions that can then be investigated can be supported by the I Wonder … “Should We? ... I Investigate” tool. Additional activities and tools to inspire wonder are linked in the Additional Resources of this learning package for you to explore. Finding ways to spark learners’ sense of wonder will inspire them to engage in the scientific practices to pursue answers. But true wonder leads to more wondering, which is when you know you have been successful at cultivating wonder with your learners.

The questions below are extensions of the self-assessment check that you did earlier in the learning package.

  • How do I make space for students to conduct experiments to test their assumptions?

  • How do I make space for students to try something for a while before I give them instructions?

  • When do I encourage students to explore new themes or objects themselves?

  • When do I encourage students to explore things in different ways?

Take some time to reflect on these questions and consider what you are already doing with respect to supporting learners around exploring and experimenting around their wonders and identify one area where you want to improve.

Media Credits

The audio, illustrations, photos, and videos are credited beneath the media asset, except for promotional images, which generally link to another page that contains the media credit. The Rights Holder for media is the person or group credited.

Elizabeth Wolzak, Director, Learning Innovation, Edu Lab, National Geographic
Heather J. Johnson, Vanderbilt University
Stephanie Hamilton, Education Consultant, Global Inclusive Learning Design Reviewer
Bayan Atari, National Geographic Society
Clint Parks, National Geographic Society, National Geographic Society
Graphic Design
Patrick Cavanagh, National Geographic Society
Rights Clearance
Jean Cantu, National Geographic Society
Last Updated

February 9, 2024

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