Playing With Science: An Investigation of Young Children's Science Conceptions and Misconceptions


  • Lori Smolleck Bucknell University


The purpose of this research was to investigate the conceptions and misconceptions of young children (ages 3 â 8) related to science concepts, skills, and phenomena. These conceptions and misconceptions were investigated within the framework of the Pennsylvania Early Learning Standards for Pre-Kindergarten and the Pennsylvania Standards for Kindergarten as developed and published by the Pennsylvania Department of Education in 2005. In addition, the National Science Education Standards also served as a foundation for our research. Findings reveal the most common conceptions related to matter, magnetism, density, and air. Extrapolations from this research can be used by pre-service teachers, in-service teachers, and teacher educators to implement experiences in the classroom that assist in developing and refining young childrenâs understandings of scientific concepts, skills, and phenomena.

Author Biography

Lori Smolleck, Bucknell University

Lori A. Smolleck is an assistant professor at Bucknell University. Her research interests include: science education, self-efficacy, early childhood education, and literacy education.




How to Cite

Smolleck, L. (2011). Playing With Science: An Investigation of Young Children’s Science Conceptions and Misconceptions. Current Issues in Education, 14(1). Retrieved from