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STEM IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

  • 1.  STEM IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

    Posted 03-14-2018 07:06 AM
    Hello!

    I am an educator from the Philippines and a Doctoral student major in Early Childhood Education. I would like to ask educators and parents of what is your stand in introducing STEM (Science, Technology, Education, and Math) in Early Childhood Education.

    Maybe you can consider ONE QUESTION FROM THE LIST to guide you while answering:
    - Have you ever tried using STEM in teaching young learners? How was it?
    - What are the advantages and disadvantages that you have observed using STEM practices in ECE?
    - Is your school patterned to adapt STEM-based practices?
    - Are there available STEM materials in your classroom?
    - Have you ever tried teaching STEM-based lessons using inexpensive materials?

    I would greatly appreciate reading all your INSIGHTFUL IDEAS below. Thank you for your time.

    ------------------------------
    Theresa Baclayon
    Subject Head
    PAREF Southcrest School
    Cebu, Philippines
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: STEM IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

    Posted 03-15-2018 12:18 AM
      |   view attached
    Here's a report that was recently released on early STEM learning that you might find helpful:

    http://centerforchildhoodcreativity.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2018/02/CCC_The_Roots_of_STEM_Early_Learning.pdf

    ------------------------------
    Cate Heroman
    Baton Rouge LA
    ------------------------------

    Attachment(s)



  • 3.  RE: STEM IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

    Posted 03-15-2018 09:22 AM
    Kate, WOW! That's an incredible article. Thank you. It is thorough and up to date. This month in a Child Development article Carol Dweck and friends added "incremental" to the description of an effective mindset vs. fixed mindset, but their research was as current as you can get these days. I think it is important to add the importance for being synchronous with children when we are interesting them in STEM subjects. When our enthusiasm pushes children to pay attention to a subject it has been found invasive: damaging to their development of executive functions.

    ------------------------------
    Jack Wright
    Success With Children
    St Ignatius MT
    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: STEM IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

    Posted 03-16-2018 03:44 PM
    Excellent resource - thank you Cate Heroman!

    ------------------------------
    Mary Ann Biermeier
    Director, Professional Development Pinnacle Presbyterian Preschool
    Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College
    Phoenix, AZ
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: STEM IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

    Posted 03-17-2018 07:25 AM
    More research on STEM in early childhood, particularly focusing on the integration of the S-T-E-M:

    STEM Starts Early: Grounding Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Education in Early Childhood 

    by Elisabeth McClure, Lisa Guernsey, Doug Clements, Susan Nall Bales, Jennifer Nichols, Nat Kendall-Taylor, and Michael Levine. February 2, 2017. [full disclosure, I reviewed parts of the paper]
    http://joanganzcooneycenter.org/publication/stem-starts-early/

    Early STEM Matters

    by The Early Childhood STEM Working Group, a group of scholars, policymakers, curriculum developers, and educators who share a common goal and vision of universal access to high-quality, developmentally appropriate STEM education for preschool children.
    http://ecstem.uchicago.edu

    Did you know that NAEYC has an interest forum for science-interested educators? it is the Early Childhood Science Interest Forum (ECSIF) and is open to all members. See the ECSIF community on this Hello platform. Non-members can keep in touch using the Facebook page. We meet in person at our annual meeting at the NAEYC annual conference, and informally at the National Science Teachers Association's (NSTA) national conference, and present sessions at both. I'm a long-time member and know the group is welcome to all!


    ------------------------------
    Peggy Ashbrook
    Early childhood science teacher
    Alexandria, VA
    NSTA The Early Years columnist, Science and Children
    Early Years blogger, www.nsta.org/earlyyears
    Author: Science Learning in the Early Years, and
    Science Is Simple
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: STEM IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

    Posted 03-15-2018 12:19 AM
    n/a


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  • 7.  RE: STEM IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

    Posted 03-15-2018 10:26 AM
    - Have you ever tried using STEM in teaching young learners? How was it?
    Yes, I do implement STEM in my teaching of young children.  The children enjoy exploring and observing nature, participating in experiments, and leading their own way with materials.  I am challenged by how to communicate what we are engaging in as STEM to parents and with my own insecurities with this subject matter.

    - What are the advantages and disadvantages that you have observed using STEM practices in ECE?
    The children learn so much about the world around them when engaged in STEM activities.  I do sometimes think I am at a disadvantage because I do not consider this subject matter my strong suit, even after seeking a myriad of professional development activities in this area.

    - Is your school patterned to adapt STEM-based practices?
    In terms of STEM-based provocations, yes.  In terms of having spaces that are permanently set up for STEM (maker spaces, labs, etc.), not so much.

    - Are there available STEM materials in your classroom?
    Yes.

    - Have you ever tried teaching STEM-based lessons using inexpensive materials?
    Yes.  That is pretty much all we do as we are a small school on a limited budget.

    ------------------------------
    Sherrie Rose Mayle
    Director/Teacher
    Campbell Parents' Participation Preschool
    Campbell, CA
    ------------------------------



  • 8.  RE: STEM IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

    Posted 03-15-2018 10:33 AM
    I work in a Presschool with 3 year olds and I have used Science in my class, the students love it and are very engaged asking questions and trying some of the simple Science in play. I think STEM should be introduced to our younger students, I believe that it will build a curiosity for learning new things, I already know that it is very engaging. Teresa

    --
    Teresa Fletcher
    RLELC
    (509) 698-8090





  • 9.  RE: STEM IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

    Posted 03-15-2018 01:16 PM

    An early start in mathematics can do so much toward producing math proficient students in later schooling.   I believe that instead of doing math lessons, adults who are actively involved in the lives of preschool children teach math best by incorporating key math ideas into the activities they are already doing with children.

    On this web page Math Proficiency by Third Grade you can see a list of Top-Ten Goals for third graders and how to begin early working toward those goals.

    ------------------------------
    Amanda Davis
    Birmingham AL
    www.powerstartmath.com
    ------------------------------



  • 10.  RE: STEM IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

    Posted 03-15-2018 03:09 PM
      |   view attached
    Hi,

    At Child360, we fully support integrating STEAM in all aspects of the ECE classroom. We have developed techniques for our teachers to use in order to embed STEAM in any activity (small group, free play, lunch, etc.). We have also developed resources for parents, one of which is attached. We are a nonprofit that specializes in professional development for ECE providers.



    ------------------------------
    Eli Pessar
    Strategic Initiatives Specialist
    Child360
    Los Angeles CA
    ------------------------------

    Attachment(s)

    pdf
    STEAM_parent.pdf   338K 1 version


  • 11.  RE: STEM IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

    Posted 03-15-2018 05:38 PM
    Great questions!  It may be worth remembering that ECE teachers use STEM and STEAM every day with infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers.  Every time we do water play, sand table, other sensory materials children are learning about the physical properties of the materials, how they can change and manipulate them by putting their hands in them, pouring, scoping, splashing, what happens when the material gets on skin and clothes.  All of that is STEM.  Driving vehicles across the floor, on ramps, on shelves--physics, engineering, etc.  Cooking, including pretend cooking, involves math (measuring, dividing into portions) and science (liquid batter changes into solid bread).  The best way to include STEM/STEAM is naturally in fun activities.

    ------------------------------
    Aren Stone
    Child Development Specialist
    The Early Years Project
    Cambridge, MA
    ------------------------------



  • 12.  RE: STEM IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

    Posted 03-17-2018 03:21 PM
    Interesting findings on STEM provided by Google and research Google did on their own company.
    http://michiganfuture.org/01/2018/google-finds-stem-skills-arent-the-most-important-skills/

    ------------------------------
    Helen Meissner
    Lead Teacher
    Love To Grow On
    Saint Paul MN
    ------------------------------



  • 13.  RE: STEM IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

    Posted 03-18-2018 08:45 AM
    Helen, I read the blog link you provided which was interesting and followed it to an original source article at The Washington Post:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2017/12/20/the-surprising-thing-google-learned-about-its-employees-and-what-it-means-for-todays-students/?utm_term=.6b61df928795       It is more detailed and factual, with sources cited.

    I also have a TED talk to share from Sir Ken Robinson called, "Do Schools Kill Creativity?" a 20 minute talk that discusses many points by a scholar who makes it clever to listen and reflective to consider, afterwards. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iG9CE55wbtY&t=3s

    Both this article (full of highly successful companies and scholarly research) and Sir Ken Robinson (a highly respected scholar himself) make valid points of treading carefully when it comes to overcompensating curriculum in more 'important' areas, such as STEM, that it pushing out the more creative areas, of the arts and creative thinking; especially in early childhood. As Sir Robinson puts it, that's when children aren't afraid to 'make a go of it'; they have not be taught the fear of failure, yet.

    I feel as Early Childhood Educators, we must tread lightly and not repeat what the public schools have done, which is push out the creative arts, in response to demands of incorporating STEM into our preschools and child development centers, aside from the type that evolves through natural progression of play and exploration.

    ------------------------------
    Meg Marchese
    Preschool Teacher
    Belmont, NC
    ------------------------------



  • 14.  RE: STEM IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

    Posted 03-19-2018 07:45 AM
    Thank you for the links and taking the time to respond. I am grateful I work in a center that strongly believes in creativity and play.

    ------------------------------
    Helen Meissner
    Lead Teacher
    Love To Grow On
    www.lovetogrowon.com
    Circle Pines, MN
    ------------------------------



  • 15.  RE: STEM IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

    Posted 03-19-2018 06:59 PM
    I have to be honest and say that when I read the term "STEM" and "STEAM" I immediately think to myself, "Well, someone just put an acronym to what we have been doing in Early Childhood centers and schools for decades." I know that since I began in this field, coming up as a Bilingual Kindergarten Teacher then a teacher at a cooperative preschool and now the director of a Faith Based Nursery School-  there has been a natural inclination to teach children through exploration and hands-on activities. We have been making Flubber (or GAK or slime- whatever you want to call it), cooking, building with blocks, playing with gears, catapults, tinker toys, sand and water with gutters and wheel barrows. Haven't we all been making volcanoes in the sandbox with baking soda and colored vinegar since time began? Isn't this all Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math to a very large degree?
     It is up to us as educators to be able to describe to families how what we do and have been doing for eons IS what is now termed "STEM" or "STEAM." If you think about it, can't we all thank the pioneers of ECE for the STEAM movement?  Children NEED to operate in the Three Dimensional World. In Early Childhood we give our children the foundation through these experiments and experiences. Tinkering and space to be creative is the gift we gave to the technology whiz kids, and I think that we need to continue doing what we have always done. We all know that "Earlier does not always mean better."
    www.https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=153&v=4_OoFjCruU4


    ------------------------------
    Jane Walker
    San Marino Community Church NS
    San Marino CA
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  • 16.  RE: STEM IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

    Posted 03-21-2018 07:44 AM
    It is unfortunate that educators do not seem to understand that children need a well rounded education and that hands-on learning is the most beneficial to ALL. When allowed to try, fail and try again they are learning so much more than when they are expected to do it the one way the teacher expects of them. STEM and STEAM are buzz words, quality education programs at all ages understand that it is part of the exploration, discovery, and learning that occurs daily and not taught separately. I always think about the technology piece, that refers to tools and pencils are tools. Relying on computers and tablets has not improved education for children, especially in early childhood as you see an increase in social issues and stunted social emotional development in children. Social emotional education is critical from birth and into high school.
    STEM and STEAM should just be part of what you do, but as the latest educational buzz word it looses its appeal to children as it becomes more of what adults view it and less about developmentally appropriate activities where children learn through exploration and discovery.
    It is are job to educate parents to know the difference and explain it in a way that parents understand.


    ------------------------------
    Lisa Vorpahl
    Chandler AZ
    ------------------------------



  • 17.  RE: STEM IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

    Posted 03-21-2018 03:39 PM
    Do you ever feel like there is some sort of hangup with your teachers in this area? To me, it seems like sometimes young teachers especially seem almost scared or unsure how to integrate science into their classroom. Is that anyone else's experience? If so, what helps them teacher better?

    ------------------------------
    Donna Blaylock
    Accreditation Specialist/Teacher
    Logan UT
    ------------------------------



  • 18.  RE: STEM IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

    Posted 03-22-2018 09:48 AM
    Donna, my guess is that it is a mind-set issue. There is evidence that young adults today have been raised by parents to were overly responsible for their children. College instructors are telling of hearing from the parents of their students who are still supervising their child's education. They may have also been praising their children's intelligence more than their work effort. That leads to adults feeling stuck, unable to improve, and afraid of being embarrassed by not quickly succeeding in a difficult subject.

    ------------------------------
    Jack Wright
    Success With Children
    St Ignatius MT
    ------------------------------



  • 19.  RE: STEM IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

    Posted 03-22-2018 10:41 PM

    In response to your question about using inexpensive materials to conduct STEM learning among children, I would like to mention that every day, I notice when I take my class outdoors for sand and water play that children remain busy in their findings, play, and interactions with peers. Children engage in sand and water activities and learn about measurements by pouring water from different sized containers. They learn how to mix sand and water, feel the texture of sand while building sand castles and other designs that help in sensory and motor development, and engage themselves in counting the sand toys and playing with them. They also learn and discuss about science concepts like full vs empty, coarse vs fine, pouring vs mixing, and they interact and collaborate amongst themselves to share their findings. The smiles on their faces, their peer collaborations to discuss possibilities, and the learning that happens in sand and water play all indicate to me that positive STEM building skills are being developed among children in their early years. Sand and water are inexpensive materials and can be found near the beach, in the sand pit, some in a backyard garden, park etc.



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    Dipanwita Ray
    Graduate Fellow, Researcher and Early Childhood Educator
    Cupertino CA
    ------------------------------



  • 20.  RE: STEM IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

    Posted 03-23-2018 01:18 PM
    Dipanwita, I so agree with you that sand and water are rich resources for learning about the properties of matter and other science concepts! Carol M. Gross wrote a wonderful article, "Science Concepts Young Children Learn Through Water Play" in the Southern Early Childhood Association's journal, Dimensions. (2012, v40 no2).
    https://www.southernearlychildhood.org/upload/pdf/Science_Concepts_Young_Children_Learn_Through_Water_Play_Carol_M_Gross.pdf

    Best wishes,
    Peggy

    ------------------------------
    Peggy Ashbrook
    Early childhood science teacher
    Alexandria, VA
    NSTA The Early Years columnist, Science and Children
    Early Years blogger, www.nsta.org/earlyyears
    Author: Science Learning in the Early Years, and
    Science Is Simple
    ------------------------------



  • 21.  RE: STEM IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

    Posted 08-07-2018 08:34 PM
    Thank you for sharing the  informative article on STEM and Water Play. It was chock full of ideas and standards that can be experienced in the classroom. I can't wait to try some. The children will be engaged and learn the many values of water.

    ------------------------------
    Concha Johnson
    Washington Teachers Union Local 6
    Washington DC
    ------------------------------



  • 22.  RE: STEM IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

    Posted 03-23-2018 08:49 AM
    Hello!
    STEAM is a big topic for the field of ECE and here are some of my thoughts from my current job as well as years of experience:

    - Have you ever tried using STEM in teaching young learners? How was it?

    In many schools, including our franchise system of schools in 39 states, we have included arts in this and call it STEAM.  STEAM is evident in all age groups but it is difficult for many teachers to distinguish in the youngest age groups because they have been taught that it requires special equipment. This is not the case and often involves observing during natural play as well as intentionally setting up the classroom and outdoor area to allow for opportunities.  (i.e. putting a bird feeder by the window or having a variety of sensory balls at child level)


    - What are the advantages and disadvantages that you have observed using STEM practices in ECE?

    There are no disadvantages in having STEAM in ECE. The skill building for children as well as the opportunity for teachers to learn effective observation and adaptation of lesson planning is quite valuable.


    - Is your school patterned to adapt STEM-based practices?

    STEAM-based practices are appropriate in all age groups.

    - Are there available STEM materials in your classroom?

    Living animals and plants as well as simple machines are the best materials in any classroom.


    - Have you ever tried teaching STEM-based lessons using inexpensive materials?

    The theory of Loose Parts is perfect for this!

    Deanna 



    ------------------------------
    Deanna Jackson
    Goddard Systems Inc.
    Columbus OH
    ------------------------------



  • 23.  RE: STEM IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

    Posted 03-23-2018 09:32 PM

    Great topic and wonderful questions. STEM/STEAM is already implemented at the ECE level. And many teachers have been implementing aspects of STEM/STEAM in their classrooms without the "label" even being there. Having been in this field for several years, having worked as a Preschool teacher and now on the management side for a national franchise, STEM is implemented in my center's classrooms through the simplest of ways.

    Have you ever tried using STEM in teaching young learners? How was it?
    Teaching STEM to ECE students is more simple than one would think. You may not expect Infants & Toddlers to go home and talk about their learning activities, but when you break it down to the parents through conversation it's possible for even the youngest of age groups to experience this. And it has been done before. The Toddlers are building with soft blocks. They stack 4 of them on top of one another. Then the teacher lays a piece of cardboard down to create a "ramp." She places a car at the top and it whizzes down! The "E" from STEM is being implemented - engineering at it's finest. Now take this activity into a Pre-K classroom; it can be enhanced by changing the height of the soft blocks, implementing terms such as "speed" and "velocity." Now you've included "S" for science a well!

    What are the advantages and disadvantages that you have observed using STEM practices in ECE?
    I have not seen any disadvantages by implemented STEM/STEAM into an ECE classroom. In fact, it has enhanced the curriculum components of the classrooms, engaged the teachers & students more, and have impressed families with the quality of education being delivered. It is, in fact, very valuable.

    Is your school patterned to adapt STEM-based practices?
    Absolutely; any classroom would be able to appropriately execute STEM-practices.

    Are there available STEM materials in your classroom?
    Yes; fine motor, living plants, simple machines are all implemented into the classroom and available to the students.

    Have you ever tried teaching STEM-based lessons using inexpensive materials?
    Depending on where you can buy things, Amazon always has great materials. I have recently also purchased some great STEM-enhancements from Lakeshore Learning.



    ------------------------------
    Tirusha Dave
    Center Director
    The Learning Experience Jackson
    Jackson NJ
    ------------------------------



  • 24.  RE: STEM IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

    Posted 03-25-2018 04:58 PM
    Shameless self-promotion here...At the National Science Teachers Association's 2018 annual conference I had the opportunity to talk about science education in early childhood in an interview. I promoted the NSTA Early Years blog, my NSTA Press book, the journals, and shared my experiences in supporting children's science explorations and inquiry--hope that you will share your experiences too!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=OYDOa7Kj0xg&app=desktop

    Did you know that NAEYC has an Early Childhood Science Interest Forum? Check it out in the Hello communities!
    Thank you for "doing science" with young children,

    ------------------------------
    Peggy Ashbrook
    Early childhood science teacher
    Alexandria, VA
    NSTA The Early Years columnist, Science and Children
    Early Years blogger, www.nsta.org/earlyyears
    Author: Science Learning in the Early Years, and
    Science Is Simple
    ------------------------------



  • 25.  RE: STEM IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

    Posted 03-26-2018 01:47 AM

    If you are looking for a great math resource or a new approach to teaching mathematics to young children I highly suggest these two women as resources:

    Jo Boaler - Mathematical Mindsets - Book and and she also has a website.


    Ellen Blinderman - who works at the Lawrence Hall of Science
    they developed a class called Teaching Mathematics to young children and it was very informative and helpful
    Ellen, in particular, is a wealth of information on teaching math and science to young children. So, if you could connect with her or sign up for some professional development that she teaches or leads. . . she is amazing.


    I personally love teaching math to young children in a way that involves creative thinking, problem solving, being curious, wondering about numbers, story telling, and overall seeing the beauty and creativity in math.







    ------------------------------
    Alison Matulich
    www.kindergartensantafe.org

    ------------------------------



  • 26.  RE: STEM IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

    Posted 08-04-2018 11:29 PM
    I use many recycled items while introducing "STEAM" in classroom! I will share link as well! Magnetic Gears

    ------------------------------
    Catherine Taylor
    Director
    Green Apple Educators
    Los Angeles CA

    https://www.greenappleeducators.com/steaming-ahead.html
    ------------------------------



  • 27.  RE: STEM IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

    Posted 08-20-2018 01:16 PM
    Hi Theresa,

    - Have you ever tried using STEM in teaching young learners? How was it?

    STEM in early childhood is such a natural fit. Young children approach the world with a goal of understanding how and why it works as it does, which are such similar questions to those of practicing scientists. When we offer the time and space for children to investigate, they often engage in the cycles of inquiry with only scaffolding from the adults around them.

    At our school, we are inspired by the work of Frances and David Hawkins, educational philosophers. David's background was as a physicist, and so many of the guiding questions are rooted in STEM. Additionally, we send teachers every year to the ECSTEM conference to dialogue with other educators who also offer children experiences rooted in STEM. (ecstem.org) (Full disclosure, this has been such an impactful experience, we convinced the organizers to bring the conference to our state this year!)

    One of the big questions we are currently examining within the STEM world is, 'how do we offer children experiences with high technology and virtual life which expand our humanity rather than detach us from humanity?' We have developed a digital studio to offer children fully immersive, as well as social, experiences playing with augmented reality.


    On the other end of the STEM spectrum, we have also been examining the concept of eco-empathy and how do we offer children experiences that increase their relationship with ecology around them? We are offering time and space to investigate gardening, the food we eat, landfill vs recycling waste, etc.

    As others have mentioned, loose parts, based on the theory by Simon Nicholson, offer wonderful potential for low-cost / free STEM investigations.

    ------------------------------
    Alex Morgan
    Community Outreach Specialist
    Boulder Journey School
    Boulder CO
    ------------------------------



  • 28.  RE: STEM IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

    Posted 09-03-2018 08:00 AM
    Good morning!
    I was a Kindergarten and then First Grade Teacher for 13 years until taking a step away to be a outdoor classroom teacher for an organization called Tinkergarten.  I absolutely have loved bringing play outdoors and watching children (as young as 12 months through 8 years old in my class) work together in stem based play.
    One of my favorite lessons to teach is using ramps, balances, catapults and pulleys!  Kids as young as 14 months were using them with their parent or myself as a guide.  It is amazing to watch their problem solving, creative and collaborative skills come alive with simple machines.  All of which are very inexpensive to make!


    ------------------------------
    melissa ferrao
    Tinkergarten Mentor Leader
    Tinkergarten
    Bridgewater NJ
    ------------------------------