toddler (1)

 Can baby learn STEM? In this blog post, we've put together a list of commonly asked questions with answers. Let's keep reading to find out! 

About the author: Philippa Campbell, occupational therapist, has implemented early childhood/early intervention development, demonstration, and field-based projects in areas related to infants and young children with or at risk for disabilities and their families, using practices such as adaptation and Assistive Technology interventions to promote children’s inclusion, participation and learning. Specific areas of interest include interdisciplinary (interprofessional) education higher education models and participation of infants and young children with disabilities via approaches such as coaching/teaching parents (and other adults) to implement strategies successfully within natural environments. This work has been supported through grants/contracts from many federal and state agencies as well as foundations. Dr. Campbell has published numerous articles, chapters, books and other materials and presented work internationally and nationally.

1. Can children learn STEM at home?

Yes! Of course! Generally, we think about STEM activities as being specially-designed learning activities that require specific toys or equipment for children to investigate or problem-solve. But, opportunities to learn about STEM can occur naturally within the daily lives of families and their young children with and without disabilities. Everyday activities such as bathing, cooking and mealtimes, or even cleaning,  riding in a car, or doing chores or errands offer opportunities for infants, toddlers, and preschool-aged children to learn about STEM at home. During bathtime, a child may use measuring cups or other containers to fill up with water, dump, or pour, learning about basic STEM concepts, such as cause and effect or concepts such as empty, full. A toddler might push a chair over to the stove and climb up solving the problem of how she can help cook the pancakes.  Both children have drawn conclusions from performing “experiments” within naturally occurring family activities and routines.

2. What can adults do to support STEM learning?

Children don’t necessarily learn STEM concepts just from simply being a part of activities and routines. Their learning is enhanced when facilitated adult-child interactions are used.  This means that the adults present during an activity or routine verbally point out STEM concepts and guide children to experiment, investigate, and problem solve.  During bathtime, for example, when children are playing with containers in the tub, the adult can narrate what is happening by saying things like “you are dumping water from one cup to another” or “you have the big yellow cup, I wonder what would happen if you pour the water into the little blue cup?”  When narrating what children are doing, adults can guide children by using language that is slightly above what the child is able to do.  For example, if the child is using one word, the adult might say “dump cup” – using language that is slightly more advanced than what the child is able to do.  The adult might also expand by saying “dump big cup” or “dump blue cup.”   Posing questions such as “I wonder what what would happen if ---” or “what do you think will happen when---“ set the stage for children to not just observe what happens but also be active participants by experimenting and problem solving.  Adults also may introduce key STEM vocabulary words so that children hear words associated wth science, technology, engineering, and math as related to a particular activity. 

3. How can we support STEM learning and participation for young children with disabilities?

While circumstances may limit children’s access and participation, limitations may be lessened and often totally eliminated by using environmental modifications and adaptations to activities, materials, or instruction.  Any naturally occurring activity or routine at home provides opportunities for STEM learning. Adaptations may be used to provide children with access to the activity and increase their opportunities for participation. When children actively participate with adaptations, they can acquire both foundational and complex thinking skills making up science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).  Teachers, practitioners, and caregivers, the adults in children’s lives, should always be thinking about what they can do to figure out children’s interests, how they can use adaptations as go-arounds to ensure access and participation in activities, and what they can say to verbally support and expand children’s STEM learning.

4. What types of adaptations would help young children with disabilities engage and participate in STEM learning?

We can consider adapting the environment, activity, materials, requirements or instruction. There are many ways in which the environment or activities themselves may be modified to promote access and participation             

The following example illustrates how STEM concepts can be embedded into an activity that naturally occurs at home – in this case, cooking pancakes.  The table shows STEM concepts and suggests what the adult may do and how to address challenges to engagement and participation using adaptation solutions.    

STEM Learning AT Home: Cooking pancakes

Possible STEM Learning Concepts: Cause & Effect, Sequence, Measurement, Volume, Size, Matter; STEM Skills: Observation, Exploration, Experimentation, Problem-Solving

8018293856?profile=RESIZE_710x

Read more…

Welcome

Hello and welcome to the STEM4EC Community.  We invite your participation.

Read More >

Rebekah S McGaughey is now a member of stem4ec
15 hours ago
STEMIE Center posted a blog post
Read the blog post written by Dr. Jessica Amsbary, and learn how to use blocks to foster future coding skills. 



Dr. Jessica Amsbary

About the authors:
Jessica Amsbary, PhD is a Technical Assistance Specialist at FPG Child Development Institute…
yesterday
Carol von Brandt commented on STEMIE Center's blog post Supporting Young Children’s Science Learning at Home
"We talk about fractions and measurment at meals"
Saturday
Carol von Brandt is now a member of stem4ec
Saturday
Stacy Lakey is now a member of stem4ec
Jan 13
katelyn Lemmon and Jeanette Martinez joined stem4ec
Jan 12
brian woodward is now a member of stem4ec
Jan 11
Ramon Pinto liked STEMIE Center's blog post Presentando la Serie Rompiendo Mitos de STEMIE
Jan 9
Ramon Pinto liked STEMIE Center's blog post Rompiendo Mitos Serie # 2: Las habilidades de lenguaje y alfabetización son más importantes que el conocimiento y las habilidades de CTIM
Jan 9
Ramon Pinto is now a member of stem4ec
Jan 9
Montserrat Torra posted a status
I am working with the learning trajectories of mathematics of Clemens and Sarama at CESIRE the science colleagues were asking if there was any proposal for trajectories in science and that is why I have contacted you.
Jan 4
Montserrat Torra is now a member of stem4ec
Jan 4
STEMIE Center posted a blog post
¿Quieres saber cómo involucrar a los niños en STEM virtualmente? ¡Nos complace invitar a la Dra. Mere-Cook a compartir algunas de sus experiencias con nosotros!



Escrito por Yvette Mere-Cook

Yvette Mere-Cook tiene un doctorado en Educación…
Dec 13, 2021
STEMIE Center posted a blog post
Estamos entusiasmados de lanzar CTIM talkABLE, una plataforma para que las personas con discapacidades y sus familias, compañeros, colegas, maestros puedan compartir sus historias y el viaje de aprendizaje de CTIM.
En este primer episodio del…
Dec 13, 2021
Maide Orcan-Kacan is now a member of stem4ec
Dec 9, 2021
Elica Sharifnia is now a member of stem4ec
Dec 6, 2021
More…

Community Guidelines and Privacy Statement