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Famous Scientists and Their Childhood Interests

Mar 26, 2018 12:00 AM

Many scientists are recognized for their inventions and their contributions to science. However, not much is known about their childhood and their childhood interests. Some famous scientists were born into destitute families with many siblings, while others were born into prosperous families with plenty of means to go around. No matter how they started out in life, they loved exploring the things of science, studied, and discovered ways to make life better and contribute to society.

One such scientist was Charles Darwin. Charles was born in 1809 into an affluent family and had four older siblings, three sisters, and a brother. His father was a well-known doctor, and build their home in Shrewsbury, England. Charles would not stay in England his whole life though.

As a child, Darwin was friendly and made friends quickly, but he enjoyed time alone and would often take walks exploring nature. Charles’s mother became ill and passed away when he was only eight years old. From then on, the house was different, his father wasn’t happy and worked more often than before. Charles was enrolled at The Shrewsbury School which taught primarily in Latin. Charles grew bored and rather focused on his collections of bugs. As a result, he did not do well in his studies and later, in 1825, he attended the Edinburg Medical School because his father wanted him to be a physician such as himself. However, Darwin left medical school and graduated from Cambridge University in 1831.

One of his favorite pastimes was taking walks with his older brother, Erasmus. They’d hunt for different kinds of insects, especially beetles. Then, the two would conduct experiments in the shed that was in the back of The Mount. These experiments are what peaked Charles’ interest in science and living organisms. He had many collections; some were of animals, rocks, butterflies, and of course, his favorite, beetles.

Charles Darwin later came on to revolutionize the idea of evolution by studying animals all around the world. From a kid, he loved collecting bugs and now two hundred years later, he is still an important figure in the science community.

What are your children interested in? Do they like different animals, such as cats, dogs, or horses? Maybe you can help them create a notebook with pictures of the different breeds and list the characteristics they have.

Where do you live? Do you live in the mountains where your little enjoys collecting different kinds of rocks? You can conduct your own science experiment and try to break the rocks to see their layers inside and to inspect the various layers or textures inside.

Children’s interest in science will change depending on their age, imagination, and learning abilities. Sometimes children start a science collection, but then change their mind, and want to collect or explore something different. This is good and all part of the learning process. The main thing is to have fun and explore the world of science together.

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