5009 Views
  1. Mia Dubosarsky
  2. Director of Professional Development
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  1. Florencia Anggoro
  2. Associate Professor
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. College of the Holy Cross
  1. Colleen Bostwick
  2. Teacher / Pedagogista
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Worcester Head Start
  1. Suchira Channoi
  2. Pre-K Teacher / Pedagogista
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Worcester Head Start
  1. Melissa Sue John
  2. Research Associate
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  1. Susmitha Wunnava
  2. Doctoral Student
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Facilitators’
Choice

Seeds of STEM

R305A150571

2019 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades K-6

Researchers recognize the preschool years as significant for children’s skill and knowledge development, yet STEM teaching in preschool remains limited. Reasons for the deficiency in preschool STEM instruction include teachers’ lack of STEM preparation and experience in teaching STEM, inadequate research on preschool STEM learning, and early childhood STEM curriculum shortage.  

To address the dire need, a partnership of researchers and educators, funded by Institute of Education Sciences (IES) at the U.S. Department of Education, has developed an 8-unit problem-based STEM curriculum for preschool classrooms: Seeds of STEM.

The curriculum is aligned with early childhood frameworks and standards, and integrates engineering problem solving tasks with science concepts, such as the 5 senses, light and shadow, habitats, forces and motion, and more.

Seeds of STEM was developed through a partnership between Head Start teachers and researchers from WPI and the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA, and was tested in 36 Head Start classrooms since 2015. The development and testing process followed an iterative process of multiple testing and revision steps. The strong partnership and rigorous process of development and testing ensured that each activity and unit matched children’s interests and abilities, as well as teachers’ expectations and classroom limitations.

Teachers who taught the full curriculum demonstrated gains in STEM knowledge, practice, and confidence teaching STEM to preschool children. Children’s learning is currently being analyzed.

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