New website highlights progress in early STEM education
Russell D. Shilling, Ph.D.
Executive Director of STEM
This has been an eventful year for exploring the possibilities of creating lifelong interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM), starting with our youngest learners. We have been truly amazed and gratified at the enthusiasm and devotion from inside and outside the education community to nurture the natural curiosity of young children by engaging them in STEM as part of a well-rounded education.
Here are a few highlights from the first half of 2016:
- The U.S. Department of Education’s (Department) STEM Initiatives team helped organize and host a symposium at the White House to highlight the efforts of over 200 commitment makers across the education community including nonprofit organizations, technology companies, the research community, and the entertainment industry to bring STEM education to all children from birth to Grade 3.
- The Department’s Ready to Learn program published the results of its successful math and literacy television and digital media initiative as it began a new initiative on early STEM education with Twin Cities Public Television and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
- Building on the White House symposium, the National Science Foundation, the Joan Ganz Cooney Center, and the New America Foundation hosted a seminar to discuss research activities in early STEM and identify best practices and research gaps.
- The STEM Initiatives team hosted two webinars; one brought together experts on education technology to discuss efforts in early STEM education, while the other summarized nation-wide efforts to bolster STEM education in Pre-K learning environments.
- Let’s Talk, Read and Sing about STEM!: The U.S. Departments of Education, Health and Human Services (HHS) and Too Small To Fail partnered to develop a set of resources and recommendations for families, caregivers, and preschool educators on easy ways to incorporate STEM concepts into everyday activities. These tip sheets are in a handy form that can be printed and distributed to parents and instructors.
We must continue this momentum. We are excited to announce that we have created a new webpage specifically for early STEM education that summarizes our activities and provides convenient access to the tip sheets, archived webinars, lists of STEM commitments, and other materials.
We plan to keep the site updated with new STEM announcements and opportunities. One area we will explore in a webinar on September 15this the use of education technology to support STEM education for students with autism, including in early STEM. You can register for the webinar here. Please help us continue to build on this important work and make quality STEM education available to all children and all ages.