Is this Four-Year-Old the “Youngest Dinosaur Educator”?

Australian Four-Year-Old Dinosaur Expert in the Guinness Book of Records?

During Everything Dinosaur’s daily trawl of news channels looking for prehistoric animal related media releases and dinosaur news stories we came across this piece from the Australian media outlet  Sydney based Hill Wang and Qing Zhang have put forward their four-year-old son to the Guinness World Records organisation in a bid to have him recognised as the “Youngest Dinosaur Educator”.

A Clever Little Boy But Is He the “Youngest Dinosaur Educator”?

Makan Wang has memorised details of more than 30 prehistoric animal species.

Makan Wang has memorised details of more than 30 prehistoric animal species.

Picture Credit: Ehsan Knopf/9NEWS

Young Makan Wang has managed to memorise a lot of facts about prehistoric animals, especially dinosaurs.  His parents claim that he has learned about more than thirty different species, hence their bid to have four-year-old Makan officially recognised by the Guinness World Records organisation as the “Youngest Dinosaur Educator”.

Makan’s mother Ms Zhang explained to a reporter at that her son had memorised the information about these long extinct creatures by watching television programmes and as a result, with the aid of illustrated prompt cards, he can now recall a number of names and dinosaur facts on command.

Impressive But Not Exceptional

Given Everything Dinosaur’s extensive outreach work in schools and museums, our team members get to meet thousands of young people every year and although Makan has an impressive amount of knowledge, in the opinion of team members at the Cheshire (UK) based company, his ability to recall dinosaur facts and figures is not out of the ordinary.

Mike Walley, one of the teaching team members commented:

“It is always great to hear that dinosaurs are capturing the imaginations of young children and helping them to develop their vocabulary and their understanding of the world, but we meet dozens and dozens of children every year who demonstrate an astonishing level of knowledge and whilst Makan’s recall of facts and figures is impressive, based on what information we have from the news story, he is not exceptional.”

A Very Big Fan of the Dinosauria

Makan clearly loves learning all about prehistoric animals.

Makan clearly loves learning all about prehistoric animals.

Picture Credit: Ehsan Knopf/9NEWS

Proud Parents

Makan’s parents should be very proud of their clever little boy.  His fascination for dinosaurs is clearly evident but is he the “Youngest Dinosaur Educator”?  This title is an epithet that the parents themselves came up with, but we have met many equally enthusiastic dinosaur buffs who could give Makan a run for his money.

His mum, Qing Zhang explained:

“He’s got an amazing memory.  He can tell what each dinosaur’s traits are, what period they lived in, whether they’re omnivores or herbivores.”

Makan’s dinosaur expertise at such a young age is admirable, especially when you consider that the little boy can’t read, however, in our experience working with Nursery and Reception-aged children, most classes tend to have a classroom dinosaur expert with an equally impressive ability to recall dinosaur facts and figures.

With an application submitted to the Guinness World Records, we wish Mr Wang, Ms Zhang and young Makan all the very best with this endeavour and we wholeheartedly agree with their sentiments when mum comments:

“We wanted recognition that he is young and is doing an amazing job.  Whether he wins it or not, for us, it doesn’t really matter that much.  We want him to continue to learn and this is encouragement for him.  We’re so proud of him and we’re happy to see where he goes from here.”

Do You Know of a Young Dinosaur Expert?

Mums and dads, grandparents and guardians, do you know of a budding palaeontologist that could take on the title of being the “Youngest Dinosaur Educator”?  Our team members are constantly amazed by the level of pre-knowledge that very young children demonstrate when it comes to introducing a dinosaur topic at school, our dinosaur experts have even been corrected on a few occasions when we ourselves have tripped up over our dinosaur facts and figures – we would be delighted to hear from other proud grown-ups who might have their very own resident dinosaur expert in the family.

Now there’s a challenge!

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One Response to “Is this Four-Year-Old the “Youngest Dinosaur Educator”?”

  1. Our son is 8, but when he was 3 (ha!!!) he was just like this kid. He still is, but I agree that while it is impressive, it is not exceptional. Our child has always been unschooled and allowed to indulge his passions, which we facilitate, still. Dinosaurs were an early obsession. We did museums (we live in Wyoming, USA, so plenty of fossils), DVDs, documentaries, met with BLM paleontologists, read books (so very many), collected plastic dinosaurs and fossils, and even took the Dinosaurs 101 MOOC online college course via University of Alberta when he was 5.

    Personally, I think it is sad that the parents pushed a title or label on the child that way – there is way too much measuring in our lives – which is one of the many reaons that we exited the system (and all of its testing and hierarchies) to unschool, where freedom leads to natural discernment, maturity, and curiosity that is life long – and celebration of any knowledge takes precedence over memorizing facts or being “the best.”

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