News from the Field
Tinkering for Early Childhood
Tinkering is great for early childhood settings, but there is a great need for resources providing information on how to offer these important experiences.
A great resource is now here! Tinkering Together: Exploring Findings and Futures in Early Childhood Tinkering is a National Science Foundation-funded online multimedia site that explores, “tinkering, making and STEAM in early childhood”. It is led by tinkering experts at the Exploratorium museum in San Francisco and features important early learning practitioners such as childcare providers and representatives of programs in libraries and museums. On this website you can see informative videos, podcasts, and reflections from these experts, along with tinkering practices in a variety of settings in addition to resources to develop your own early childhood experiences.
To find out more, go to https://tinkeringtogether.org/
Why is STEAM Important in Today’s Education?
As today’s students prepare for a workforce and future problems that can’t be imagined today, innovation is key. That is where STEAM comes in. It can teach students not only the mandated disciplinary content but also how to question, experiment, solve problems, and create.
Learn more by following this link: https://onlinedegrees.sandiego.edu/steam-education-in-schools/
Increasing STEM Diversity Through Dance
The STEM from Dance (SFD) initiative reports that Black and Latina women occupy only 4% of the STEM workforce. This initiative uses dance to empower and encourage low-income minority girls to pursue STEM careers. It operates in 14 states and 3 countries. It has received numerous awards, including being recognized worldwide by Zoom as a Zoom EdInnovation Award Winner. The SFD founder, Yamilèe Toussaint Beach, like the Collaborative’s Jasmine Sadler (see Collaborative Member Authors Useful Book for Early-stage Professionals in this newsletter) was named an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) IF/THEN Ambassador as a STEM female role model. She has training in mechanical engineering in addition to dance.
Find out more at https://www.stemfromdance.org/
Addressing Overcrowding in STEM/STEAM labs and Makerspaces
STEM/STEAM labs and Makerspaces have specific requirements to ensure student safety. However, according to research, these labs are experiencing overcrowding with larger class sizes. This overcrowding affects occupancy loads that take into account lab size, types of hazards, and number of exits. The overcrowding also is affected by teacher-student ratios. This can lead to accidents.
Learn more about this by following this link: https://www.nsta.org/blog/lab-safety-overcrowded-stemsteam-labs-and-makerspaces
Transform Learning with Digitized Museum Collections
With COVID restrictions, many educators have had to re-imagine what learning looks like. This includes developing effective online learning tools to engage and educate students. One impressive tool is digitized museum collections. These fascinating collections make available to students and teachers a wide variety of opportunities for exploration. While this article points out how science museum resources can be used, these strategies also can be adapted to other museums, such as art and history museums. Integrating these can provide engaging STEAM experiences.
Learn more at https://www.nsta.org/connected-science-learning/connected-science-learning-march-april-2022/rethinking-online-science
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