Ten-Minute Lesson: Why Curiosity Matters

HubbleimageSchool days are jam packed. I don’t know a teacher who doesn’t feel the need for a 25th hour in the school day—and perhaps a 26th after school to catch up on grading! In the midst of such days, it can be hard to  find moments to teach directly about creativity, even for teachers who regularly infuse creativity in their curriculum.

So, I had the idea for 10-Minute lessons, occasional suggestions for brief bursts of thinking about creativity—what it is, how it looks, and why it matters. The first lesson is a chance to share the value of curiosity, courtesy of the Hubble Telescope.

In 1996, scientists pointed the Hubble telescope at a tiny portion of the sky that was, as far as they could tell, totally empty. This was a risky move, with images from the telescope in constant demand (and research funding always at risk). Nonetheless, curiosity prevailed. What if there was something there, and they just needed more scope time to capture it? After 10 full days of exposure came probably the most important Hubble image of all time—the light of 3,000 galaxies shown in the “empty” depths of the sky. The story and images are recorded in this 4-minute video.

Take a few minutes to talk about the curiosity that spurred scientists to look in a place others might have thought a waste of time, and why that mattered. Challenge students to think about things that make them curious and your 10-minutes are over—and well spent.

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