This week I had the incredible pleasure of presenting at the Region 10 Now4Forever: Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead! Conference in Dallas, Texas. The conference was held across three days in two sites and I presented on two days: one day at the northern site and one day at the southern site. Having never visited North Texas before, I got to see Frisco, Richardson, Dallas, and Waxahachie, Texas. We traveled to Dallas a day early and also enjoyed visiting the Fort Worth Zoo, the #5 rated zoo in the country. After finishing at the conference on Thursday, we rounded out our Dallas fun with a Double-A minor league game at Dr. Pepper Park in Frisco seeing the Frisco Roughriders take on the San Antonio Missions. It rained torrentially two days for about 30-45 minutes two days and we learned that was called a “gulley washer.”
I really enjoyed presenting at the conference and met some wonderful educators and administrators and was so well taken care of. They made everything easy and fun. I presented on the work of myself and my colleagues on using problem solving and critical thinking skills to teach STEM to children birth to five years old.
I know that Anne, Kristen, and MaryLu would have had fun working with these educators to expand thinking on how young children with and without disabilities can participate in engineering activities and improve their problem solving skills.
Based on the many engaging discussions with participants across the two days, we generated a list of resources that I wanted to share with the participants and other educators. Some of you may be familiar with these ideas, but if not, please use the links below to learn more.
I would like to thank Region 10 and especially Kelley Estes-Jones and Andrea Mitchell for inviting me to the conference and all the facilitators who helped me throughout the two days.
As always, please leave comments or email me for more information.
Universal Design for Learning (UDL)
Early Childhood UDL Planning Sheet-Blank
Resources on Engineering and Robotics:
- Chalufour & Worth, 2004. Building Structures with Young Children
- DeVries & Sales. Ramps and Pathways
- Winnett, David A.; Rockwell, Robert E.; Sherwood, Elizabeth A.; & Williams, Robert A. (1996). Discovery science: Explorations for the early years. Menlo Park, CA: Innovative Learning Publications.
- NSTA Preschool STEM Blog Post: http://nstacommunities.org/blog/2010/03/01/preschool-stem/
- WGBH Curious George Let’s Build! Series http://www.pbs.org/teachers/curiousgeorge/lessonplans/
- Goldilocks Engineering Curriculum (Portsmore, 2010)
- National Research Council 2009 Report on K-12 Engineering Education. www.nap.edu
- Ashbrook, P. (2010). Building with sand. Science & Children, March 2010.
- Illinois Early Learning Project STEM Resources: http://illinoisearlylearning.org/askanexpert/beneke/sup.htm
- Green, T. (2007). Primary Engineering: Projects for Grades K-2. Knoxville, TN: College House Books.
If you want more information about the ideas problem solving skills and engineering design for children birth to five, please our book Engaging Young Engineers: Teaching Problem Solving Skills through STEM.