Kids ask parents 22K questions during their school life

A new study has discovered just how curious children are, and reveals that parents are unable to answer a third of their kids’ questions

It’s no secret that kids like to ask the question ‘why’, but just how much? New research reveals that curious kids in the UK ask their parents 22,174 questions during their school years – more than half of which are science or engineering related (53%).

Nearly two thirds of parents believe curiosity is key to intelligence (59%) and a successful career (58%). However, children appear to be asking stretching questions. Mums and dads are unable to answer a third of children’s questions (33%) and just under one in 20 (4%) can answer all their questions

The survey of more than 2,000 parents of school aged children, commissioned by the Institution of Engineering and Technology to mark the launch of its #ISeeMore competition with confectionary company MondelÄ“z International, found that the top five questions asked by knowledge-thirsty kids are about:

1.  Science, engineering and how things work (53%)

2.  How things are made (43%)

3.  Nature (40%)

4.  Food and drink (31%)

5.  Politics (29%)

The majority of parents tell their kids to Google (69%) the solutions rather than suggesting more traditional options, such as asking grandparents (14%), their partners (24%) or their children’s teachers (15%). 

Nearly two thirds (58%) of parents feel proud of their children for asking questions but, when stumped, just over one in 20 (6%) make up an answer and hope it’s right, whilst almost one in five (18%) tell their child that they’ll enlighten them later and, in the meantime, look it up themselves.

The #ISeeMore Competition

The #ISeeMore competition challenges 8-16 year olds to use their engineering acumen to design a chocolate bar of the future. The winner will see their design created as a one-off prototype alongside chocolate experts and hear from a real-life engineer at the Bournville Factory. The winner will also receive a trip to Cadbury World and an iPad mini. Ten runners up will win family tickets to Cadbury World.

The competition aims to inspire the next generation of engineers by showing what an exciting, diverse and creative career engineering can be through the medium of chocolate. It encourages young people to literally ‘See More’ through uncovering the role of engineering in brands and items that feature heavily in their lives.  

A big part of the work of an engineer is finding solutions to questions about how and why things work – Nigel Fine, Chief Executive, Institution of Engineering and Technology

Nigel Fine, Chief Executive, Institution of Engineering and Technology, said that they are delighted to launch the #ISeeMore Engineer a Chocolate Bar of the Future competition.

“A big part of the work of an engineer is finding solutions to questions about how and why things work. This competition aims to nurture curiosity from a young age and dispel the common misperceptions of careers in engineering,” he said.

Emma McLeod, Research Principal for Process Technology at Mondelēz International, said that engineering is a fundamental part of bringing a new type of chocolate to life.

“Engineering is incredibly important to us, and we are proud to work with the IET on a campaign which aims to excite children about the role it plays in everyday life. My son is following in my footsteps to become an engineer and I would really like to see more young people consider this fantastic career,” she said.

For more information on the competition, the judges, the prize or to enter visit – Terms and conditions apply.