"All children are artists.The problem is how to remain an artist once he (she) grows up."
Pablo Picasso

I have charged myself with the task of remaining an artist and helping children to explore their art and imagination.

Art lies in the expression of one’s observations of life.

Science is in the understanding of what we observe.

It is my great joy to bring to light that understanding for the children I teach. Children are natural detectives as it is their mission in life to discover and understand the workings of people and things around them. How to use a fork, how to relate to your family, a frog or other children. As they follow their quest, it is the perfect time to introduce the physics of electricity or the biology of the physical body. It is welcome, useful and fascinating knowledge.

Fun, fun, fun – that is what education should be. I have completed a course in writing for children and produced a collection of limericks to help explain some basic science, such as, states of matter and Newton’s laws of motion.

Speaking of Sir Isaac Newton, I was ecstatic to visit his birth place in England last year. I saw the tiny desk with quill and ink in his bed chamber, his leggings laid out on the bed and some of his young scribblings still preserved on the white stucco walls. Having discovered and explained gravity, the spectrum and the essential laws of motion, to me Newton exemplified the curiosity of a child's mind. He also, remained an artist.

For the past 17 years, I have worked with children and had the chance to observe the wonder of the child mind. I spent 3 years as manager of a Sears Portrait studio. I worked closely with families to capture smiles of everyone from infants to teens. I usually only had 5 or 10 minutes with each sitting and I was amazed at the capacity for children to form a quick and sincere bond.

Then I found Mad Science. I worked for the Toronto franchise for 11 years, starting as an instructor and ending up Program Manager. I was responsible for researching and producing new topics and for training new staff. Just out of teacher’s college, our trainees were truly excited to have the opportunity to teach but many lacked that “intimidating” science background. It was my job to convert “scary” to “super fun and exhilarating”. What a thrill it is to place a rocket launcher in the hands of a young teacher and watch her face as she presses the button and with a swoosh, the rocket is almost instantly 200 feet above us. Gone is the fear, the confusion and the shyness; replaced by confidence and a huge grin.

This is the gift I wish to give to my students of all ages.

I have had the pleasure of sharing my love of discovery with the educators and children of Ottawa since August 2010. I am offering a diverse range of workshops crafted for specific age groups and suitable for classrooms, after-school, daycare and libraries. Check out my new home-schooling kits now available for purchase.

Doreen Smith  aka Doctor D