How to nurture curious and inquisitive young minds

“Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.” 
Professor Stephen Hawking

Why are curiosity and inquisitiveness important?

The confidence to question is one of the greatest gifts we can give our children. The ability to answer questions comes further down the list – it’s that sense of wonder that is such an important building block. 

This skill isn’t only important for scientists, either – it’s vital for navigating the wide world. Knowing how to question, for example, if a news story can be trusted, whether a politician’s promise can be believed, how to find out how something works, and so on, is crucial for us all. 

We’re all born with an innate curiosity. First words soon form first questions: “Why shoes? Why breakfast? Why moon?” Let’s be honest, this isn’t always adorable – but reframing the ‘why’ phase as ‘a wonderful first glimpse into an enquiring young mind,’ might help us appreciate it more! Who knows what great questions our children may ask throughout their lives – and what incredible answers they might be driven to find. 

So how can we encourage this curiosity and help to shape the next generation of inventors, engineers, medics, educators, change makers and more?

1. Question everything

Children are little sponges, so sharing your own enquiring mind with your curious children can encourage their own questions. 

On a journey, you might wonder: 

“Where does that road lead?”

“What will that new building look like when it’s finished?” 

“How does gritting the road stop us from slipping?” 

While cooking lunch, you could ask: 

“Will turning the heat up make this cook faster?”

“How do these food scraps turn into compost?”  

At bedtime, read the start of a story, then prompt: 

“What happens next?” 

Who knows what other questions, lively debate or answers you’ll inspire (and, let’s be realistic, the occasional “Shhhhh mum/dad!” is inevitable too!)

2. Foster a “give it a try”

Answers aren’t the aim of this game: it’s the confidence to speak out when something has got you wondering. Helping your child to understand that you don’t have to know or understand everything, but instead that the process of learning itself can be exciting and rewarding. Add the word “yet” onto the end of frustrated cries of “I don’t know how,” “I don’t understand” and “I can’t do it” to turn defeat into the start of a voyage of curiosity.

3. Celebrate mistakes

Getting things wrong can be annoying and hard for any of us to handle, but mistakes can also be funny, informative and surprising. Did you know that Play-doh, Saccharin sweetener and the microwave were all the result of accidental discoveries? Help your child to understand why something hasn’t worked as expected, get excited about any surprising results, then work out how you can vary the process to get a different outcome next time!

4. Add a little Whizz Pop Bang!

Picking up the latest issue of Whizz Pop Bang is enough to awaken anyone’s curiosity, so surprise your scientist-in-the making by setting up a lab in your kitchen and getting stuck in to some experiments. Need more inspiration? Click here to take a look inside the Planetary Adventures issue where you can find out how to cook potato planets, craft a solar system model and read an interview with a Martian (aka someone who has lived in an environment set up to mimic Mars!)

Mission: Awaken curiosity accomplished!

Whizz Pop Bang magazine arrives in paper envelopes!

Previously delivered in plastic wrap, children’s science magazine Whizz Pop Bang will now be posted out in recyclable FSC certified paper envelopes.

As a small, independent magazine publisher, it’s been our mission to react quickly and do the right thing; for the environment, for our readers and for the future. We’re thrilled to announce that, starting from today, our monthly magazines will be sent in eco-friendly, sustainably sourced, recyclable paper envelopes. We’ve added a fun, science-themed design to the envelopes that will change every few months and add to the joy of receiving magazines through the post.

We’re also helping kids to understand the need to recycle, with a message directly to the children on the envelope saying, ‘Please recycle me’, giving the reader a sense of responsibility to think about what happens to our waste.

Look out for the extra activities on our envelopes – they change every few months!

Whizz Pop Bang magazine regularly features articles about the environment, recycling and the problems caused by plastic waste. The next issue of Whizz Pop Bang also sees the start of a new Eco Club, with an activity on upcycling a plastic milk bottle.

We’re super proud of our new paper envelopes!

Whizz Pop Bang science magazine for kids is available via subscription from our website: whizzpopbang.com

Poster inviting kids to try cricket pasta at Nord Anglia School Dubai

Cricket pasta tasting with kids and teachers in Dubai

Did you know Whizz Pop Bang whizzes around the world to kids in many different countries? Yep, we have readers in Australia, America, Germany, New Zealand, Holland and Dubai (please let us know if you read it in another country and we’ve missed you out!). Kids learning English as a second language love reading Whizz Pop Bang because it’s fun and easy to read. Expat kids love reading it because it’s not easy to get hold of English magazines in some countries.

Now what’s all this about crickets in pasta? Well here at Whizz Pop Bang we actively encourage kids to be open-minded and to try new things, and with the need to find more sustainable sources of protein to feed our growing population, we’ve been giving kids the opportunity to try eating insects. Check out these super mini scientists at a school in Dubai trying a food of the future – cricket pasta!

Made by Bugsolutely in Thailand, cricket pasta is a genius way to include sustainable protein in a quick and easy meal. Cook it and serve with pesto, with a tomato sauce or a creamy sauce and you have a nutritious meal and one that doesn’t require any additional protein.

Were your kids involved in a Whizz Pop Bang cricket pasta tasting? Let us know what they thought in the comments box below, or email hello@whizzpopbang.com. If you’d like to subscribe to Whizz Pop Bang THE awesome science magazine for kids just click here.

Whizz Pop Bang round logo

Mission Impossible? 53 Science experiment for kids for the summer holidays!

Bundle of six Whizz Pop Bang science magazines

KIDS: STEP AWAY FROM THE SCREEN!!
Your inner curiosity and brain cells are calling you…

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to groom yourself like a cat, to drain the rain, to feel the force and to alter your sense of touch. Taking it to the next level, your mission is to make your own fake blood, loop the loop and snore louder than your Dad without going to sleep. Then it gets tricky: could you grow your own stalactites and stalagmites? Could you lift your Mum off the ground? Could you move water with fire? 

How is this possible? For 6-11 year olds across the globe it is possible with science magazine WHIZZ POP BANG!

Buy now and put your child to the test – can they become world class mini scientists? Six copies for £20, free delivery and not a screen in sight: https://whizzpopbang.com/shop/all/

Whizz Pop Bang is for inquisitive girls and boys

Whizz Pop Bang science magazine for kids_girl experimenting“I get very frustrated about the lack of women in science, having experienced sexism at university, such as comments about women being at the kitchen sink instead of in laboratories. I wanted to be part of the solution and try to change that attitude.”

Jenny Inglis

The team at Whizz Pop Bang have all experienced this attitude, which is why one of the key aims behind the magazine and the community we’re building is to grow confidence and provide role models for girls.

Whizz Pop Bang is a completely gender neutral children’s science magazine, because we strongly believe that science is for girls, just as much as it is for boys. This message needs to be communicated to not only to girls, but also to boys who need to see their female friends and peers as future scientists. We ensure every issue has strong female scientist role models, and content that appeals to all children.

The challenge is to reach out to families who don’t see science as part of their everyday lives. Our aim is to provide as many kids as possible with the opportunities to discover their natural curiosity and approach not just science, but all STEM subjects with an open mind. If we can help to achieve this at primary school, it will encourage more girls to see themselves as scientists of the future and continue their secondary education believing in themselves.

Read all about how Jenny started Whizz Pop Bang, and how she and the team have created a science magazine that inspires thousands of children to be curious:

https://www.theguardian.com/small-business-network/2015/nov/20/science-magazine-founder-turns-her-kitchen-into-a-lab

 

 

Kids are you ready to taste the foods of the future?

Eating Foods Of The Future At Cheltenham Science Festival 2016

Whizz Pop Bang introduced eating insects (entomophagy) to the Cheltenham Science Festival; inviting kids and their families to try ‘foods of the future’. These are just some of the kids who tried pasta and flapjacks made with crickets, we think the smiles say it all!

In issue 7 of Whizz Pop Bang we introduced our readers to the concept of eating grubs as a sustainable source of protein. Now as a forward-thinking kids science magazine we’re all about looking into the future 🙂 So we got in touch with a company in Thailand, called Bugsolutely, who make pasta using 20% cricket flour mixed with 80% wheat flour, and asked them if they’d send us some boxes to try. Three weeks later a large box arrived full of pasta ready for our trials. We sent out a newsletter inviting Whizz Pop Bang subscribers to take part, and within minutes we were inundated with families wanting to taste cricket pasta! So we set up individual trials, and took the pasta to Cheltenham Science Festival to find out firsthand what the kids thought.

And the results?

Whizz Pop Bang Science Magazine foods of the future

In the style of Innocence smoothies, we asked people to vote with their rubbish. So we had a ‘YES! I’d definitely buy this’ bin, and a ‘NO! It’s not my cup of tea’ bin. The results speak for themselves, it’s a resounding YES please to buying foods made with insects in the UK!

The double page spread in February’s issue of our magazine, introducing the idea of eating grubs:

Whizz Pop Bang science magazine for kids eating insects

Feed the World – By the year 2050 there will be over 9 billion people living on Planet Earth. With all these extra mouths to feed, there is a real risk of a global food crisis developing. Farm animals are responsible for producing almost a third of the greenhouse gasses that are contributing to global warming. They also need lots of land and drink lots of water, so we need a more sustainable solution.

“The way we farm our food is going to have to change. We can’t keep farming like we do today, or we won’t be able to produce enough food and look after our environment at the same time.” Dr Sarah Beynon, an insect expert and farmer.

Insects – the taste of the future Like it or not, we are all going to have to make changes to the way we eat in the future, and scientists like Dr Beynon think that insects will soon become a normal part of our diet.