The smallest scientists in Missouri might be under Meg Kocher's care.
The Holts Summit family child care provider has provided daycare for countless children since she began operating in 1983, but there's one consistent thing she has witnessed in her preschoolers over the years.
"Every group of kids is different, but they're interested in everything," said Kocher. "They're all interested in exploring and finding out about new things, that's just what preschoolers do; whether it's taking things apart or digging in the mud, they're always exploring."
Kocher wanted the ability to better foster that sense of scientific exploration, and applied for a grant through the Terri Lynne Lokoff Child Care Foundation, a national group that works to improve early care and education. As one of the just 52 recipients of that grant, she will receive the award in a special ceremony 8 p.m. April 11 in Philadelphia.
"So many children, by the time they reach elementary school and older, they seem to be afraid of science," said Kocher. "But preschoolers are so interested in everything around them, and I noticed in the past year my group of kids... anything scientific, they thought was the coolest thing. By the time they get to grade school, I hope they won't be afraid of science."