First Discoveries is a program to improve science enrichment at the early-childhood level through a partnership with local Bright Horizons preschools. Every month volunteers design and lead physics- and astronomy-focused activities in the classroom that foster scientific reasoning through play- and inquiry-based learning. Volunteers also collaborate directly with full-time educators through emails and workshops to coordinate lesson plans and extension activities, all of which are documented for future use by other classrooms and educators.
The program aims to excite young students, alongside teachers, and encourages them to approach science as a tool for exploring and understanding their own curiosities and intuitions. By avoiding memorization and instructor-focused demonstrations, the authority of learning and thinking scientifically is turned back over to the students in an equitable way, before any notions of what science or scientists look like have formed. The program was created, and is managed by, KICP graduate student Joshua Sobrin, who works on SPT.