New Hampshire’s early childhood educators strategize to strengthen STEM and arts curricula
More than 210 early childhood educators working with childcare programs throughout New Hampshire, including Head Start and Early Head Start programs, gathered at the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center in Concord for a daylong seminar focused on promoting Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) and arts education in early childhood settings. The event was created to give New Hampshire’s early childhood educators strategies for nurturing scientific inquiry in infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. It was sponsored and coordinated by the New Hampshire Head Start Association and the Head Start Technical Training and Assistance Center, which are operated through the UMass Donahue Institute.
In separate workshops geared toward infant-toddler and preschool teachers, arts educators from the Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning through the Arts lead sessions on integrating books, music, and movement to foster discovery, promote literacy and heighten engagement. Cindy Hoisington, Project Director for the global non-profit Educational Development Corporation’s (EDC) Cultivating Young Scientists program, lead an additional interactive workshop for preschool teachers, incorporating current research on children’s science learning with hands-on experiments and explorations that teachers can apply in their own classrooms.
“The benefits of STEM education extend beyond the goal of creating a highly skilled workforce,” says Patricia Tripp, an Early Childhood (ECE) Specialist with the New Hampshire Head Start Training and Technical Assistance Center who helped organize the event. “By introducing STEM concepts to our youngest children, we’re helping instill an enthusiasm for learning and supporting the development of curiosity, inquiry, problem-solving skills, and perseverance; all assets that build a solid foundation for their future experiences.”
March 31, 2014