The Pre-K Science and Technology/Engineering Standards (STE) are based on the Next Generation Science Standards. The Pre-K STE standards for preschool children, ages 2 years and 9 months through 5 years old, are the highest quality early learning and development standards for young children that articulate multi-domain expectations for children’s growth and support continuity in early education from birth through kindergarten. At the same time, these early learning and development standards will provide a foundation for creating learning and growth opportunities for children across all communities and families and across both informal and formal environments.
Many of Department of Early Education and Care's (EEC) current grantees are working to include more STEM projects in their current work. Some of their projects include:
In the Fall of 2014, EEC will release to the early education field the products of the Preschool Innovative STEM Curriculum Grant. The goal for those receiving this funding is to replicate Innovative STEM Curricula for use in early education programs for preschool children. EEC recognizes innovative curriculum as having; project-based learning models, hands-on experimentation, and learning that supports natural inquiry.
Among other goals, grantees receiving the STEM grant will be required to demonstrate a rich family connection within the context of all curricula frameworks. Grantees must also include parent and family involvement and reflect strength-based values by recognizing families as their child's first teacher and as experts about their own child. The long term goal is for EEC to make Preschool STEM education a sustainable practice in the early education and care field. EEC will make these curricula available to educators, programs and parents on the EEC website. These will be released and discussed at this year's STEM Summit on October 22, 2014.
The Educator/Provider Support Grant helps teachers continue learning through STEM Continuing Education Unit (CEU) courses offered on various STEM related topics from early education through school age grade years. Pre K STE Standard trainers are also available to work with educators and programs on implementation strategies that promote and enhance STEM learning environments. To access these, educators should contact their appropriate EPS Network.
In May 2014 EEC had a very successful Spring STEM Conference where we provided STEM training content and resources to over 250 early educators from across the state.
EEC will be helping to organize between four to five Early Education Strands for the upcoming State STEM Summit on October 22, 2014. More information regarding specific content will be forthcoming on the weeks ahead as the planning progresses.