Northbrook Teachers Introduced to Incorporating STEM and Nature-Based Explorations in the Early Childhood ClassroomBy Diana Wehrell-Grabowski on September 9, 2016 in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Education, Teacher Training Workshops
Had the pleasure of spending two days in the Northbrook, Illinois area this summer, introducing early childhood teachers at Westmoor School to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) practices and content. The second day teachers were introduced to incorporating nature-based explorations within their classrooms, including using the school yard to introduce and reinforce life and environmental science content. The Westmoor School has established a “Young Explorers Program” which places emphasis on incorporating opportunities for young children to play, explore, and discover. The addition of incorporating science, technology, engineering, and math practices and content is aligned with the goals set forth in the Young Explorers Program. The campus and school building has recently underwent major renovations which makes for a very pleasing and inviting learning environment for all the preschool to Grade 6 children that attend the school. Additionally, Westmoor has a large courtyard garden area that is maintained by the students and community volunteers. Throughout the two days of training early childhood teachers were introduced to: inquiry-based practices, journaling in the early childhood classroom, designing a classroom environment that encourages active student engagement, lessons that strengthen and develop 21st century skills. Additionally, teachers were introduced to incorporating children’s literature that reinforces STEM and Nature content. Lastly, teachers were given the opportunity to use an assortment of tools, and technology appropriate for the early childhood classroom. The following photos provide an idea of the STEM and nature-based explorations early childhood teachers conducted within the two days of training. From creating a block center that incorporates STEM practices and content, tinkering, and using the campus as a learning environment. For more information about the Science, STEM, NGSS, and Makerspace teacher training workshops and keynotes Dr. Diana Wehrell-Grabowski provides worldwide please complete the contact form on the contact page.