Throughout the ages, people have marvelled at the beauty of nature, from the mesmerising night sky to the intricacies of the smallest flowers. With the advent of modern science, arguably beginning with Copernicus’ revelation that (Spoiler alert!) the Earth is not the centre of everything, more and more of the beauty of nature is revealed to us each day by research and experimentation.
As children, we have enjoyed the beauty of a sunset, marvelled at a rainbow, been fascinated by a bug under a rock and gasped at the magnificence of a firework. At Hatherop, the children are beginning their journey of wonder and exploration of the world around them and, through the lens of science, there is more beauty to discover. Focussing on leaf stoma through a microscope for the first time always elicits an emotional response from the children. Reacting metals with oxygen produces a spectrum of colours and passing a current of electricity through the whole class at once always leads to giggles.
Science, Mathematics and Art all have beauty within them. Fibonacci’s mathematical sequence is brought to life in the biochemical structure of snail shells, sunflower blooms and insect wings to name but a few, and these marvels of nature have inspired many a budding artist at Hatherop. The grounds of Hatherop are also inspirational and the P6 classes recently produced some beautiful tree plaques with scientific names and information on the reverse.
As the children’s knowledge and experience of looking at the world in a scientific manner increases, I hope for them to see the beauty in every structure and every interaction that governs our universe. To quote the French mathematician and philosopher of science, Henri Poincaré:
“The scientist does not study nature because it is useful; he studies it because he delights in it, and he delights in it because it is beautiful. If nature were not beautiful, it would not be worth knowing, and if nature were not worth knowing, life would not be worth living.”