Early Childhood Teachers Explore Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math ConceptsBy Diana Wehrell-Grabowski on January 8, 2012 in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Education, Teacher Training Workshops
Thirty-five early childhood teachers explored a wide-array of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) concepts during a recent hands-on-minds-on inquiry-based teacher training workshop I conducted in LaVergne, Tennessee. It’s always rewarding to see the enthusiasm of early childhood teachers in their willingness to be introduced to new and exciting investigations to bring into the early childhood classroom. During the six-hour workshop teachers were actively engaged in exploring numerous STEM concepts via hands-on-minds-on explorations. We started off the workshop by observing and analyzing shapes and patterns found in nature and man-made objects. Then it was onto building 2 and 3-D structures. Analyzed toys to explore force, motion and energy concepts. Made connections to birds, airplanes, helicopters, parachutes, and seed dispersal. Built ramps out of store-bought race car tracks, paper tubes, insulating foam, and whatever else the teachers could get their hands on. Ended the session with building boats out of aluminum foil, the goal being to have the aluminum boat carry the maximum cargo load (pennies) without sinking. Additionally, teachers were introduced to numerous early childhood literature STEM connections such as “Iggy Peck The Architect” and more. Check out STEM literature references under the book page on this website. What a great group of early childhood teachers at LaVergne Primary School, Tennessee. We need to have a strong science and STEM presence at the early childhood level if we want our children to continue their excitement for the natural world around them. Check out some of the photos taken during the STEM workshop for early childhood teachers.