Some people might chuckle when they hear preschoolers are learning about the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) principles so essential to getting kids interested in technical careers.
But far from formulating equations and building intricate engines, these preschoolers are learning new skills the old fashioned way—through play, books, and teamwork. “We are teaching them to understand what a problem is, teaching them to brainstorm, and to find a good solution,” says Mia Dubosarsky, director of professional development at WPI’s STEM Education Center.
A new collaborative between the STEM Education Center and Worcester’s Head Start program has WPI researchers, engineers, and scientists developing a STEM curriculum for the city’s youngest students. Called Seeds of STEM, the study will introduce STEM principles into the school day of 3- to 5-year-old children.
Three years ago, Dubosarsky and Martha Cyr, the Center’s executive director, were approached by Head Start after teachers in the early education program for low-income children participated in one of WPI’s professional development programs.