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This article presents a novel researched method for investigating the cognitive processes of children. This study designed an activity to observe characteristics of cognitive process. In the activity, children were asked to engage in thinking and using scientific concept to draw as many as possible optical paths between the laser gun and target. There were 95 fifth graders participate in this study. Association rules mining were 1used as a research method for exploring relationships between different types of optical path in this experiment. The data mining results demonstrated that it consist with Piaget's cognitive development theory, showing that concrete operation is the dominant thinking mode for fifth grader. It is concluded that data mining is an appropriate research method for analyzing the cognitive processes when it is cooperated with research techniques in thinking skills, such as creativity or problem-solving.