Building brains with STEM through new online courses

Supporting its focus on technology and building high-tech futures, Collaborative for Children has introduced new online courses on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) principles for teachers of preschool-aged children. The courses are designed to foster STEM in young minds by implementing critical thinking, problem solving, cause and effect, and sequencing skills. Research shows STEM concepts have great potential to positively affect brain development, increasing a child's ability to learn new materials quickly.

The developmentally appropriate STEM program is multi-layered and dynamic. It includes seven major elements:

  • Objectives or focus of the learning
  • Discourse or conversations children have about STEM
  • "Just right” challenges to prompt thinking
  • Productive struggle to promote patient problem solving
  • A variety of appropriate materials
  • Sufficient time and space for children to grapple with big STEM ideas
  • Scientific inquiry where children exercise those critical thinking skills

The STEM trainings are presented through a series of six courses:

Beyond Screens: Technology Tools to Solve Problems
Teachers will learn research and trends related to technology with preschool-age children and find out how to use technology to make teaching more engaging.

Plan It, Build It, Try It: Engineers at Work
Beginning with a brief video from NASA, this course takes teachers through the steps engineers go through to solve problems.

Let's Get Physical! Science, That is!
Teachers will learn how to support children’s observation skills, particularly as they relate to the physical sciences

Is it Dead or Alive?
The core content revolves around inquiry-based learning to engage preschoolers in critical thinking about the relationships between living things and their environments.

Spaceship Earth and Beyond
Teachers will learn how to support children’s observation skills as they relate to the earth and space sciences.

Using STEM to Build Brains
In this course, teachers will learn about the importance of early childhood STEM and some key ideas related to curriculum and best practices.

Early childhood educators, access the courses here

"Building Brains with STEM" is made possible by the generous funding from The Boeing Company.