Explore and Experiment

Explore and Experiment

Inspired by National Geographic Explorer Anand Varma, this learning package provides a deeper focus on Exploring and Experimenting from the Wonder Learning Strategies to cultivate wonder in the learning space. Educators examine how creating space for wonder includes a physical space with resources that allow experimentation, play, and tinkering. More importantly, it also includes the conditions that allow learners to wonder. It is these conditions that help to develop the attitudes, skills, and knowledge that make up the Explorer Mindset Learning Framework that sustain a sense of wonder in the work that Explorers do. How do you create conditions for your learners to explore and experiment around what they wonder about?


4 - 12+


Biology, Storytelling, Photography

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Made Possible By
The Burroughs Wellcome Fund
Photograph of three scientists making observations through a microscope.
Explore and Experiment: Engage and Explore

A true sense of wonder drives National Geographic Explorers as they ask questions and seek answers about the world they live in. Curiosity may prompt initial questions, it often disappears when answers are found. Wonder does not. Watch the video Explore and Experiment to learn how Anand Varma and his team create the conditions to explore and experiment creating the intellectual space to allow a generation of new wonders based on what they are learning.

Photograph of a man using scissors to cut plastic in a laboratory.
Explore and Experiment: Learn by Doing

How do you create conditions for your learners to explore and experiment and encourage wonder? Learn the process that supports exploration, theory building, hypothesis testing, and reflection.

Photograph of three people doing preparation work in a laboratory.
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 already doing supporting your learners around exploring and experimenting and identify an area 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

April 9, 2024

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