STEM Learning with Young Children

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This teacher’s guide provides the background information, STEM concepts, and strategies needed to successfully implement an early STEM curriculum (Ramps and Pathways) with young children, ages 3-8. R&P actively engages young children in designing and building ramp structures using wooden cove molding, releasing marbles on the structures, and observing what happens. Children use logical-mathematical thinking and problem-solving skills as they explore science concepts related to motion, force, and energy.

This guide helps teachers to:

* Structure and organize an engaging STEM learning environment.

* Understand and promote logical-mathematical and scientific thinking during investigations.

* Promote social settings that enhance communication, cooperation, and collaboration.

* Make the necessary accommodations and modifications for diverse learners.

* Integrate STEM concepts and skills with other content areas.

* Align teaching and learning with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

* Assess STEM learning using formative and summative assessments.

* Establish adult learning communities to support ongoing professional development.

* Help children develop habits and behaviors that contribute to positive attitudes toward STEM.

This one-of-a-kind resource uses a newly created Inquiry Teaching Model (ITM) as the conceptual framework and devotes specific attention to the importance of an inclusive and social STEM learning environment in which children are free to collaborate, take risks, and investigate within the context of exploratory and constructive play.