Garth Sundem

About Garth Sundem

Dad of two, writer, blogger, TED-Ed speaker, loser of hotties vs. nerds episode of Wipeout, creator/consumer of thin pancakes, sometimes mathematician, sometimes outdoor enthusiast, owner of large and small Labrador, snail racer, lover of cool bugs and science that makes me adjust my view of the ordinary. Author of Brain Trust: 93 Top Scientists Dish the Lab-Tested Secrets of Surfing, Dating, Dieting, Gambling, Growing Man-Eating Plants and More. (Also: The Geeks' Guide to World Domination, Geek Logik, and Brain Candy.)

The Science of Why I Largely Disregard Parenting Science

Who could possibly throw pine cones at kids as cute as this? Oh, I guess I can.

I was at the park the other day throwing pine cones at my kids when a horrified mother asked, “How can you hit your kids with pine cones!” I said it was pretty easy: you just don’t lead them as much. Continue reading

Garth Sundem

About Garth Sundem

Dad of two, writer, blogger, TED-Ed speaker, loser of hotties vs. nerds episode of Wipeout, creator/consumer of thin pancakes, sometimes mathematician, sometimes outdoor enthusiast, owner of large and small Labrador, snail racer, lover of cool bugs and science that makes me adjust my view of the ordinary. Author of Brain Trust: 93 Top Scientists Dish the Lab-Tested Secrets of Surfing, Dating, Dieting, Gambling, Growing Man-Eating Plants and More. (Also: The Geeks' Guide to World Domination, Geek Logik, and Brain Candy.)

Linear Explanations Make You Your Child’s Oracle of Information

Calvin.Hobbes

The quality of the explanations you offer to your children will influence their perception of your credibility. Not only that, but your explanations will influence how likely your kids are to ask you for explanations in the future. Continue reading

Garth Sundem

About Garth Sundem

Dad of two, writer, blogger, TED-Ed speaker, loser of hotties vs. nerds episode of Wipeout, creator/consumer of thin pancakes, sometimes mathematician, sometimes outdoor enthusiast, owner of large and small Labrador, snail racer, lover of cool bugs and science that makes me adjust my view of the ordinary. Author of Brain Trust: 93 Top Scientists Dish the Lab-Tested Secrets of Surfing, Dating, Dieting, Gambling, Growing Man-Eating Plants and More. (Also: The Geeks' Guide to World Domination, Geek Logik, and Brain Candy.)

How to Trick a Child Into Playing the Violin (or Other Boring Things)

Bored.Sized

In this age of Candy Crush and YouTube fail compilations, science shows how to encourage a 7-year-old to stick with his violin teacher’s insistence on months spent perfecting the perfect hand and bow position (and other boring things). Continue reading

Garth Sundem

About Garth Sundem

Dad of two, writer, blogger, TED-Ed speaker, loser of hotties vs. nerds episode of Wipeout, creator/consumer of thin pancakes, sometimes mathematician, sometimes outdoor enthusiast, owner of large and small Labrador, snail racer, lover of cool bugs and science that makes me adjust my view of the ordinary. Author of Brain Trust: 93 Top Scientists Dish the Lab-Tested Secrets of Surfing, Dating, Dieting, Gambling, Growing Man-Eating Plants and More. (Also: The Geeks' Guide to World Domination, Geek Logik, and Brain Candy.)

Creativity in the Membrane, Creativity in the Brain

Brain.Coral.jpg

Researcher: “Cultivation of the basic personality features of openness to experience in children and adolescents may increase an individual’s trait creativity and, thereby, facilitate divergent thinking and creative achievement.” Continue reading

Garth Sundem

About Garth Sundem

Dad of two, writer, blogger, TED-Ed speaker, loser of hotties vs. nerds episode of Wipeout, creator/consumer of thin pancakes, sometimes mathematician, sometimes outdoor enthusiast, owner of large and small Labrador, snail racer, lover of cool bugs and science that makes me adjust my view of the ordinary. Author of Brain Trust: 93 Top Scientists Dish the Lab-Tested Secrets of Surfing, Dating, Dieting, Gambling, Growing Man-Eating Plants and More. (Also: The Geeks' Guide to World Domination, Geek Logik, and Brain Candy.)

Study: Music Prodigies Beat Math Prodigies at Numbers; Art Prodigies are Awful at Shapes

Violin.cropped

For every prodigy, there’s a profile: distinct brain abilities help to make astounding performance possible. Continue reading

Garth Sundem

About Garth Sundem

Dad of two, writer, blogger, TED-Ed speaker, loser of hotties vs. nerds episode of Wipeout, creator/consumer of thin pancakes, sometimes mathematician, sometimes outdoor enthusiast, owner of large and small Labrador, snail racer, lover of cool bugs and science that makes me adjust my view of the ordinary. Author of Brain Trust: 93 Top Scientists Dish the Lab-Tested Secrets of Surfing, Dating, Dieting, Gambling, Growing Man-Eating Plants and More. (Also: The Geeks' Guide to World Domination, Geek Logik, and Brain Candy.)

Shyness Study Predicts How Kids Respond to Challenging Social Situations

Scared.Kids

When excluded from a game, 12.6% of kids were directly assertive, insisting to be included. But 42.5% passively withdrew. But it wasn’t simply shy kids that pulled away. The difference was largely something called “cognitive conflict” as measured by a hairnet of electrodes. Continue reading

Garth Sundem

About Garth Sundem

Dad of two, writer, blogger, TED-Ed speaker, loser of hotties vs. nerds episode of Wipeout, creator/consumer of thin pancakes, sometimes mathematician, sometimes outdoor enthusiast, owner of large and small Labrador, snail racer, lover of cool bugs and science that makes me adjust my view of the ordinary. Author of Brain Trust: 93 Top Scientists Dish the Lab-Tested Secrets of Surfing, Dating, Dieting, Gambling, Growing Man-Eating Plants and More. (Also: The Geeks' Guide to World Domination, Geek Logik, and Brain Candy.)

Everything You Thought You Knew About Learning Is Wrong

Unfortunately, learning through book osmosis doesn't make the learning strategies list.

According to one expert, most common learning strategies are actually hurting our ability to acquire and retain long-term knowledge. Continue reading

Garth Sundem

About Garth Sundem

Dad of two, writer, blogger, TED-Ed speaker, loser of hotties vs. nerds episode of Wipeout, creator/consumer of thin pancakes, sometimes mathematician, sometimes outdoor enthusiast, owner of large and small Labrador, snail racer, lover of cool bugs and science that makes me adjust my view of the ordinary. Author of Brain Trust: 93 Top Scientists Dish the Lab-Tested Secrets of Surfing, Dating, Dieting, Gambling, Growing Man-Eating Plants and More. (Also: The Geeks' Guide to World Domination, Geek Logik, and Brain Candy.)

Study: Only Popular Kids Care About Popular Kids

Queens of attention: of all combinations, popular girls give popular boys first and longest gaze. Image: Flickr/OpenSkyMedia

A study on early view at the journal Child Development asks an interesting question: who cares about popularity? Really what the study asks is who most cares about popular people? Sure, everyone gives popular kids more attention, but who is most likely to give the most attention? Continue reading

Garth Sundem

About Garth Sundem

Dad of two, writer, blogger, TED-Ed speaker, loser of hotties vs. nerds episode of Wipeout, creator/consumer of thin pancakes, sometimes mathematician, sometimes outdoor enthusiast, owner of large and small Labrador, snail racer, lover of cool bugs and science that makes me adjust my view of the ordinary. Author of Brain Trust: 93 Top Scientists Dish the Lab-Tested Secrets of Surfing, Dating, Dieting, Gambling, Growing Man-Eating Plants and More. (Also: The Geeks' Guide to World Domination, Geek Logik, and Brain Candy.)

Study: If You Want Math and Reading Success, Teach Planning Skills

The Tower of Hanoi via Flickr/lilszeto

Remember the Tower of Hanoi — that game with discs and pegs? Well it requires planning, specifically the ability to see that you have to move away from your goal so that you can eventually move toward it. A study in the journal Child Development shows that kids’ Tower of Hanoi ability is a better predictor of math and reading success than socioeconomic status or anything else. And that training this important skill of planning may help disadvantaged kids catch up. Continue reading

Garth Sundem

About Garth Sundem

Dad of two, writer, blogger, TED-Ed speaker, loser of hotties vs. nerds episode of Wipeout, creator/consumer of thin pancakes, sometimes mathematician, sometimes outdoor enthusiast, owner of large and small Labrador, snail racer, lover of cool bugs and science that makes me adjust my view of the ordinary. Author of Brain Trust: 93 Top Scientists Dish the Lab-Tested Secrets of Surfing, Dating, Dieting, Gambling, Growing Man-Eating Plants and More. (Also: The Geeks' Guide to World Domination, Geek Logik, and Brain Candy.)

Study: Quality and Not Quantity of Parents’ Words Teaches Vocabulary

"What do you read, my lord?" Words, words, words. Image: Flickr/HaraldGroven

The number of words a child knows when he or she enters kindergarten is an astoundingly good predictor of how well they’ll do in school and even how they will much later do in the workplace. A study from the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Chicago published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that it’s quality and not quantity of speech that teaches vocabulary. If your speech matches your actions and the surrounding context, kids learn your words — if not, it’s just talk. Continue reading

Garth Sundem

About Garth Sundem

Dad of two, writer, blogger, TED-Ed speaker, loser of hotties vs. nerds episode of Wipeout, creator/consumer of thin pancakes, sometimes mathematician, sometimes outdoor enthusiast, owner of large and small Labrador, snail racer, lover of cool bugs and science that makes me adjust my view of the ordinary. Author of Brain Trust: 93 Top Scientists Dish the Lab-Tested Secrets of Surfing, Dating, Dieting, Gambling, Growing Man-Eating Plants and More. (Also: The Geeks' Guide to World Domination, Geek Logik, and Brain Candy.)

Study: Is Problem Solving Different Than IQ?

Genetics Lab -- a downloadable game to test complex problem solving

Intelligence tests are great; they do a darn good job predicting which students will succeed in school. But an article just published in the journal Intelligence wonders how much these IQ-like academic subjects and the tests that measure them continue to matter in the real world. In addition or as an alternative to traditional intelligence tests, the article evaluates measures of complex problem solving. Continue reading

Garth Sundem

About Garth Sundem

Dad of two, writer, blogger, TED-Ed speaker, loser of hotties vs. nerds episode of Wipeout, creator/consumer of thin pancakes, sometimes mathematician, sometimes outdoor enthusiast, owner of large and small Labrador, snail racer, lover of cool bugs and science that makes me adjust my view of the ordinary. Author of Brain Trust: 93 Top Scientists Dish the Lab-Tested Secrets of Surfing, Dating, Dieting, Gambling, Growing Man-Eating Plants and More. (Also: The Geeks' Guide to World Domination, Geek Logik, and Brain Candy.)

Girls and Math: Study Shows How to Keep Stereotype Out

Kestrel.Scientist

An article published last week in the journal Child Development shows that not only are girls as young as six prone to subconscious biases that can hurt their math ability, but this bias can be wiped clean, leaving attitudes and skills functioning at their fullest. Continue reading

Garth Sundem

About Garth Sundem

Dad of two, writer, blogger, TED-Ed speaker, loser of hotties vs. nerds episode of Wipeout, creator/consumer of thin pancakes, sometimes mathematician, sometimes outdoor enthusiast, owner of large and small Labrador, snail racer, lover of cool bugs and science that makes me adjust my view of the ordinary. Author of Brain Trust: 93 Top Scientists Dish the Lab-Tested Secrets of Surfing, Dating, Dieting, Gambling, Growing Man-Eating Plants and More. (Also: The Geeks' Guide to World Domination, Geek Logik, and Brain Candy.)

16-Year-Old Intel ISEF Winner Talks Screen-Time, Sleep, Cognition and Her Love of Science

ISEF.Winners-feat

High school junior, Zarin Rahman, from Brookings High School in South Dakota took home top prize in the Behavioral and Social Sciences category at last week’s ISEF, for her study of how screen time and sleep affect mood, memory and cognition. Here GeekDad chats with Rahman about her work and her love of science. Continue reading

Garth Sundem

About Garth Sundem

Dad of two, writer, blogger, TED-Ed speaker, loser of hotties vs. nerds episode of Wipeout, creator/consumer of thin pancakes, sometimes mathematician, sometimes outdoor enthusiast, owner of large and small Labrador, snail racer, lover of cool bugs and science that makes me adjust my view of the ordinary. Author of Brain Trust: 93 Top Scientists Dish the Lab-Tested Secrets of Surfing, Dating, Dieting, Gambling, Growing Man-Eating Plants and More. (Also: The Geeks' Guide to World Domination, Geek Logik, and Brain Candy.)

Good Praise, Bad Praise: What Begins With Parental Praise?

Praise used to be a good thing — the praised child builds self-esteem! Now, as all of us enlightened GeekDad parents know, it’s a bad thing — the praised child loses the drive to struggle and succeed! So which is it? Is praise good or bad? A study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology shows that praising process trumps praising product. Continue reading

Garth Sundem

About Garth Sundem

Dad of two, writer, blogger, TED-Ed speaker, loser of hotties vs. nerds episode of Wipeout, creator/consumer of thin pancakes, sometimes mathematician, sometimes outdoor enthusiast, owner of large and small Labrador, snail racer, lover of cool bugs and science that makes me adjust my view of the ordinary. Author of Brain Trust: 93 Top Scientists Dish the Lab-Tested Secrets of Surfing, Dating, Dieting, Gambling, Growing Man-Eating Plants and More. (Also: The Geeks' Guide to World Domination, Geek Logik, and Brain Candy.)

Study: The Nature and Nurture of Kids’ Reading Development

This is exactly what happens at my house. You know, when we're not playing video games or watching TV. Image: Flickr/ThomasLife

A new study in the journal Child Development shows that after kindergarten, the learning trajectories of the best readers tend to flatten and the trajectories of the worst readers tend to climb. Blame genetics? Blame school? You be the judge, but in either case, parenting practices play second fiddle. Continue reading

Garth Sundem

About Garth Sundem

Dad of two, writer, blogger, TED-Ed speaker, loser of hotties vs. nerds episode of Wipeout, creator/consumer of thin pancakes, sometimes mathematician, sometimes outdoor enthusiast, owner of large and small Labrador, snail racer, lover of cool bugs and science that makes me adjust my view of the ordinary. Author of Brain Trust: 93 Top Scientists Dish the Lab-Tested Secrets of Surfing, Dating, Dieting, Gambling, Growing Man-Eating Plants and More. (Also: The Geeks' Guide to World Domination, Geek Logik, and Brain Candy.)

Easter Bunny Science: Studies Show How Kids Sort Fantasy From Reality

Jackalope

Contrary to popular misconception, kids start as skeptics, then parents and culture trick kids into belief, and then canny kids find disbelief. But what of the kids who continue to believe in dragons into the middle grades? Are these fantasy kids slow? Are they dumb? Studies suggest the opposite: it takes a nimble mind to buffer belief from the whisperings of reality and the evidence of doubters. Continue reading

Garth Sundem

About Garth Sundem

Dad of two, writer, blogger, TED-Ed speaker, loser of hotties vs. nerds episode of Wipeout, creator/consumer of thin pancakes, sometimes mathematician, sometimes outdoor enthusiast, owner of large and small Labrador, snail racer, lover of cool bugs and science that makes me adjust my view of the ordinary. Author of Brain Trust: 93 Top Scientists Dish the Lab-Tested Secrets of Surfing, Dating, Dieting, Gambling, Growing Man-Eating Plants and More. (Also: The Geeks' Guide to World Domination, Geek Logik, and Brain Candy.)