STEM Preschool Teacher Training
Kim Votry is the Training and Curriculum Specialist for the Childcare Quality & Early Learning Center for Research & Professional Development. CQEL is part of a research and professional development center under the umbrella of the College of Education at the University of Washington. She said, “we used the lab coats in a session called STEAM-Powered Educators. It was a super-hands-on workshop with activities to engage participants, but which would engage children, too”.
Preschool Teachers Use Science Lab Coates
Ms. Votry coordinated the STEM training where preschool teachers were asked to use the lab coats as a hands-on way to take notes during their highly interactive, project-based day of tinkering, inventing, exploring, and creating. The early childhood educators wrote STEAM-based vocabulary on one arm; STEAM-related job names on the front (e.g., engineer, architect, naturalist, biologist, mathematician, etc.); science and technology learning objectives on the other arm; and project ideas (in words, diagrams, and pictures) on the back.
So Who are Early Achievers?
Is it important to school our children before kindergarten? Why is the Early Achievers Scheme gaining momentum?
According to Thrive Washington. “The first years of a child’s life are incredibly important. Babies and toddlers aren’t just cute—they are growing and developing at an astonishing rate. About 85 percent of the human brain develops in the first three years of life. During this crucial developmental time, young children form the “wiring” needed to think, communicate, move and form attachments with those around them. Children who have nurturing, healthy and supportive experiences in their early years are much better prepared to succeed in school and life.”
Since 2015, Early Start Act was implemented to set a directive for providers to get children, from birth to age 5, ready for kindergarten, 3,000 + providers (in 36 States) have participated in the Early Achievers program, an Institute which is a hub of experts in early childhood development and education. CQEL collaborated with Child Care Aware of Washington and the Washington State Department of Early Learning to Produce these EA Institutes.