Manifestation of the Scientific Sublime by Preschool Children

Krystyna Nowak-Fabrykowski, Alicja Komorowska-Zielony

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this research was to investigate the manifestation of scientific sublime in preschool children. Many researchers stress that young children can think mathematically in creative ways and become emotionally engaged. The objective was to illustrate how preschool children demonstrate their aesthetic engagement and understanding of scientific concepts through play. Twenty-six children from ages three to four that were enrolled in the Child Development and Learning Laboratory were asked to individually come to the table where thirty-six Trading Chips in different colors were spread out. They were asked five questions related to their conception and the manipulatives that they played with. The American researcher took notes of the children’s narratives and their emotional engagement, and photographs of their creations were taken. The results showed that the three- and fouryear- old children were able to demonstrate the scientific sublime through play while spontaneously creating patterns and sequences; they counted and balanced the chips, and they were able to use them in different symbolic representations. The findings also suggested that children in this age group have an inability to transfer their knowledge from one type of manipulatives to different materials. The implication of this research project is to reaffirm how important it is to give children opportunities for emotional involvement while learning scientific concepts through play with simple manipulatives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-27
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Early Childhood Learning
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021


  • Discovery
  • Ideas
  • Manipulatives
  • Play
  • Scientific Sublime


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