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White House Highlights Museum of Science's Early STEM Curriculum

April 21, 2016

On April 21, the Museum of Science, Boston's new engineering curriculum for preschool and kindergarten (PreK-K) was highlighted at the first-ever White House Early STEM Learning Symposium.

The Museum is investing $425,000 in the three-year initiative to create a PreK-K engineering curriculum for ages 3 to 5, building on the success of its Engineering is Elementary® (EiE®) curriculum for grades 1-5. (See photo.) The new curriculum will comprise six to eight classroom-tested lesson plans designed to integrate with the "interest centers" found in most preschool classrooms (e.g., building blocks or sand-and-water tables). To increase access for underserved populations, the lesson plans, due out in late 2017, will require inexpensive materials and will be available online at no charge.

Museum president Ioannis Miaoulis has long advocated the early engagement of our youngest children in the engineering design skills that will enable them to use math and science to solve problems, founding the National Center for Technological Literacy® in 2004 to introduce engineering in classrooms and museums nationwide.

"Like all our curricula, the PreK-K engineering curriculum will be research-based and developed in close consultation with early childhood educators," says Museum vice president and EiE director Christine Cunningham.

"Kids in PreK- K classrooms are already designing: building block structures to house an imaginary zoo, or running a lemonade factory at the water table," says Jeff Winokur, an early childhood and elementary science educator at Wheelock College. "But teachers may not think of these activities as engineering, or know the pedagogical strategies to support this kind of learning. The EiE initiative has great potential to address this need -- and also help educators see they don't have to buy a lot of new stuff to do engineering."

The PreK-K team will pilot new activities in the next few months and seeks early childhood experts as reviewers. Please complete form below if you are interested in participating.

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The Museum of Science, Boston

  1 Science Park, Boston, MA 02114  phone: 617-723-2500