Posts Tagged ‘early childhood science activities’


Exploring Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) in the Early Childhood Classroom

on October 4, 2010 in Hands-On Science Explorations by Dr. Diana Wehrell-Grabowski Comments Off on Exploring Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) in the Early Childhood Classroom

Within the last several years there has been a major emphasis on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education. However, nationwide STEM education efforts rarely focus on children below third grade, and almost never below kindergarten. The reality is that more science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) explorations can and should be implemented within early childhood through primary level classrooms. Children are naturally curious about the world around them so teachers and parents need to take advantage of the young child’s natural curiosity about the world around them and implement more science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) explorations within the classroom and at home. It’s not a matter of investing in additional materials and curriculum to implement STEM education in the classroom, many of the materials required to conduct STEM education are already readily available within classrooms such as building blocks, sand and water wheels, toy cars, etc. When exploring science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) concepts within the early childhood classroom it’s important to teach STEM concepts that are personally meaningful, interesting and relevant to the young child.  When implementing STEM education explorations within the classroom teachers may want to consider setting up the STEM explorations as centers. At each STEM center students can develop critical thinking skills via inquiry-based explorations. Teachers can initially conduct a classwide science STEM investigation to give the students a working model of how scientists conduct experiments. At the early childhood level  this model may include:

  1. having the children identify a problem;
  2. children brainstorming a solution;
  3. children constructing a model;
  4. children testing and evaluating the design;
  5. children redesigning, and;
  6. children sharing their results with their classmates.

The following photos are from a recent hands-on inquiry-based early childhood STEM program I conducted at a local school. Each STEM concept was set up as a center, where a particular STEM concept or project was investigated. For the past several years I have been conducting science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) teacher training workshops nationwide for teachers of all grade-levels. During the STEM education teacher training workshops teachers conduct hands-on, inquiry-based explorations to investigate science, technology, engineering, and math concepts. For more detailed information about the teacher training workshops please visit the teacher training pages of this website.
Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) explorations in the early childhood classroom

Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) explorations in the early childhood classroom

Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) explorations in the early childhood classroom

Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) explorations in the early childhood classroom

Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) explorations in the early childhood classroom

Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) explorations in the early childhood classroom

Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) explorations in the early childhood classroom

Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) explorations in the early childhood classroom

Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) explorations in the early childhood classroom

Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) explorations in the early childhood classroom

Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) explorations in the early childhood classroomScience, technology, engineering and math (STEM) explorations in the early childhood classroom

Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) explorations in the early childhood classroom

Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) explorations in the early childhood classroom

Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) explorations in the early childhood classroom

Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) explorations in the early childhood classroom

Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) explorations in the early childhood classroom
Additionally, teachers may be interested in the following book about using blocks in the classroom to build structures. The book is available from Amazon.com via this site at no extra charge.

Teacher Training: Young Nature Explorers

on September 26, 2010 in Teacher Training Workshops Comments Off on Teacher Training: Young Nature Explorers

You can sense a slight change in the seasons in Florida during this time of year, and the teacher training workshop I presented as a featured speaker at the Daytona/ Flagler County Early Learning Coalition Discovering The Joy Conference Young Nature Explorers could not have been timed better. Approximately 45 early childhood teachers were actively engaged in exploring age-appropriate early childhood science concepts. Additionally, teachers were introduced to connecting mathematical concepts, and children’s literature as they explore outdoor and life science concepts with their early childhood students. During the teacher training workshop teachers used eye loupes and simple microscopes to explore a wide-array of specimens from nature including: leaves, seeds, rocks, animal coverings, and more. Additionally, teachers observed and touched live garden snails, earthworms, and pill bugs. Teachers also were asked to draw pictures of what they observed throughout the teacher training workshop. As the session ended teachers were invited to bring the snails, earthworms, and pill bugs back to their classrooms to share with their students. Teachers left the session motivated, energized, and ready to teach their early childhood students about nature using their schoolyard as a classroom. Another great session and group of dedicated teachers. For further reading on sharing nature with children check out the following books. All the books listed can be ordered from Amazon via this site at no extra charge.

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