Colin Carlson graduated from the University of Connecticut with a degree in ecology and environmental biology when he was 15.
At age 16 he had earned his Master’s degree in the same subjects, and by 22 he completed his Ph.D. from the University California, Berkeley.
He wants to use his degrees to study parasites and the impact that climate change will have on them.
Colin is certifiably a child prodigy, yet his story makes some wonder if we are holding children back by not giving them access the challenging real-world content from the get go.
Is there a place for toddlers to be learning physics or coding?
Many think so, including a number of authors who are beginning to pen books with very adult academic content intended for the youngest possible audiences.
Read on to learn more about some of the books you can find today to introduce students to challenging academic subjects before they learn to ride a bike.
Yes, that’s right. Physics. For toddlers. While some of us may have spent our academic careers hiding from physics courses (and quite successfully at that), there is a whole series of books that intend to teach physics concepts to toddlers.
With topics such as general relativity and quantum entanglement, these books explain incredibly sophisticated concepts in language and with comparisons that even the youngest of children can understand.
Think there’s no way economics could be fun or interesting for kids? Try again. The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible enlightens kids on various principles of macroeconomics through clearly written and captivating tales.
Through this book, students will grapple with complex economic questions such as why some countries are rich while others are poor. While the book includes extension questions that can be used by parents of teachers, the content is written explicitly for kids.
Have a student or child with a creative side and an entrepreneurial spirit? Why wait for college to teach about starting one’s own business. The Making of a Young Entrepreneur: A Kid’s Guide to Developing the Mind-Set for Success will introduce students to business foundations to help them start their own business.
Written by a successful teen entrepreneur, this engaging guide gives kids action items at the end of each chapter to help make their business dreams a reality.
Considering that computers aren’t going anywhere, it makes sense to teach students about technology and coding as young as possible. A great way to do so is with Cody the Coder, a book that follows a toddler through the process of making his first website (sounds ridiculous, but trust us, kids love it).
Even adults could pick up some coding basics from this fun read, but the target audience is young children.
It’s never too early to start kids on the path to financial literacy. The Ultimate Kids’ Money Book will help you do just that, without skipping over the hard stuff.
This book, written by a renowned expert on children’s finances, introduces kids to everything from a piggy bank to the Federal Reserve.Colorful characters, fun puzzles, and well-explained terms make this book accessible and interesting even for young readers.
Want to build a spirit of activism, advocacy, and community in young students? Check out A is for Activist. This is an ABC board book geared toward toddlers, but with a message that’s a bit deeper than A is for apple. Through fun rhymes and alliteration, students will learn about democracy, equality, and politics. For those community activists in the making!
While not all of these books will be a good fit for every student, it is worth considering if maybe we are holding students back from engaging in ideas and content that we deem too advanced for them.
With more resources (both through books and technology) to help introduce students to the hard stuff earlier on, students may find a passion or skill set that they didn’t know they had.