Kide Science was born around the results of scientific research on how young children can learn
science in a playful learning environment. The researcher, Jenni, however, started the research
project from a completely different setting. At first, she was studying adolescents and how their
interest in science can be supported. After reading a pile of research papers about interest in
science education one thing was certain - if we want to support children’s interest in science in an
effective way, we have to start introducing science at a very early age. But how this is done in
practice was not unambiguous - and Jenni felt that so intriguing that she changed the research
The five-year study about young children’s playful science education started at the University of
Helsinki. The data was collected from young children’s science clubs. Club environment allowed testing
the most creative ways to introduce science for young children. Finally, the playful model for early
science education was produced. During this research period, the clubs had gained so strong popularity
among families that they wanted more of that. To answer the huge demand to organize science clubs all
over Finland, the idea of establishing a company rose. Aino had worked as a science club teacher and a
co-developer of the playful science education model from the very beginning of the project. She jumped
in as a co-founder of the company.
However, quite soon the researcher and the teacher realized that the company needs someone who has the
strive after thinking about budgets and quick scaling. We started searching for a business-minded
person to join our team. This is when Sari came into the picture. Sari proved to be just the person we
needed. Our company scaled quickly all around Finland and in just half a year of operation we were an
Of course, Kide Science is not just the work of the founders - there is a wonderful, engaged and
talented team behind all of this. Some of the team members have been with us since the university
times and some people have joined us later. Everyone is equally important for making our success
story. All of us share the vision that has been the cornerstone of Kide Science since the beginning.
We want to promote scientific thinking through early science education.
The traditional view of learning is that there is someone with higher cognitive abilities, with more
knowledge, and professional skills. That someone, often a teacher, shares the expertise for less
capable ones, usually children, by telling, describing and demonstrating. Children are seen as passive
receivers of knowledge, almost like vessels into which knowledge can be poured.
Instead, children are naturally active learners - they have a strong tendency to explore, test and
experiment how the world around them functions. Knowledge needs to be built on experiences, it
benefits the emotional engagement and it requires tactile, hands-on learning in various learning
environments. Children are not tabula rasas but they have very sophisticated ideas about the reality
they have constructed in different everyday situations.
If we want to raise children to become the problem-solvers and creative thinkers that future society
needs, we can not make children sit down and absorb knowledge. We want children to become producers of
knowledge and meaning. For young children, the natural way to produce meaning is by playing. If we
give up feeding children with ready-ground knowledge and allow them to construct understanding with
their peers through play, we can raise future citizens who have the capability, creativity and
co-operation skills that the very blurry future with its yet undefined challenges require.