Note from the Principal

Lower Lab Values Curiosity

April 2019 

On a Beam of Light – A Story of Albert Einstein

Written by Jennifer Berne and Illustrated by Vladimir Radunsky

Curiosity is defined as the strong desire to know or learn something.  Curiosity is the ability to wonder, use your imagination and question.  Babies are curious, children are curious and adults are curious too.  It is a gift we give ourselves and it can be a true joy when we discover!

On a Beam of Light is a beautifully illustrated picture book that tells the story of a boy who is loved and encouraged to follow his own interests and his own way of thinking.  It is the story of Albert Einstein, one of the most brilliant thinkers of all time – a physicist who helped us all understand the universe.  Einstein is frequently referred to as a genius of the 20th century for discoveries about matter, energy, atoms and mathematics. 

In this story, a little boy is born over 100 years ago, into a loving family.  As he turned one, and two and three, he hardly spoke at all.  He was quiet but he spent his days observing and wondering and thinking.  He was a scientist!  When he rode his bike, he imagined himself traveling through space on a light beam, and as he grew he helped us learn that everything is made up of atoms.  His curiosity and his endless questioning changed the world and the way we understand it.

On one of the last pages of the book it says, Albert thought and figured until the very last minute of the very last day of his life.  I encourage all of my students to do like Albert Einstein did…ask questions never asked before, find answers never found before, and dream up ideas never dreamt before.  In other words, allow yourself to be curious, very curious…

This biographical book is motivational and joyful and will certainly lead to rich conversations.  Some strong discussions around our value, curiosity, may be yielded from the following:

  • What helped Albert think better when he was curious? What helps you think better?
  • Think of a time when you were curious about something? What was it?  What did you do next?
  • Why didn’t Albert want to be like the other students? Explain your thinking.
  • If you are curious about something, what can you do to get answers?

For older students:

  • Albert Einstein said, “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.” Discuss.
  • Sylvia Earle, an American scientist said, “the best scientists and explorers have the attributes of kids! What do you think she meant by that? 

So I ask you, got curiosity?

Sandy Miller 2019