Friday, August 22, 2014

Kindergarten Readiness & the S.T.E.M. Connection

Conference Supports Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Education in Early Learning Programs
On July 19, early childhood professionals gathered at the Prisco Center in Aurora to engage in a panel discussion and presentations on preparing children for Kindergarten and the curricular connection to S.T.E.M. education initiatives.

Kindergarten Readiness and the S.T.E.M. Connection is one of four conferences planned as the culminating events for a S.T.E.M. Train-the-Trainer program initiated by the Department of Education and Outreach at DuPage Children's Museum.  

Participants interacted with a panel of professionals on S.T.E.M. education.The importance of S.T.E.M. concepts were discussed, as well as a need to continue to focus on non-cognitive skill development.  

Breakout sessions included presentations by S.T.E.M. Train-the-Trainer program participants:
Bringing S.T.E.M. into Light,
Linda Banek and Lu-Ann Tanton
S.T.E.M.-ergize Your Curriculum
Annelee Mascarella and Melissa McClelland
Super Spectacular S.T.E.M.,
Ian McCLeary and Deb Clark-Everly
S.T.E.M. and the Literature Connection
Kelly McCleary and Maliha Siddiqui

A second conference will take place in September at Joliet Junior College. Featured presentations will include:
Bringing S.T.E.M. into Light,
Linda Banek 
S.T.E.M. into Nature,
Kristi Walker and Audra Ohlson
Why S.T.E.M.? The Benefits in Child Care and Beyond,
Sandy Stitch and Nancy Kascyzca
Teaching S.T.E.M. Everyday,
Darlene Houston and Suzanne Schoff

A special thank you goes out to the funders of this program, IMLS (Institute of Museum and Library Sciences) and PNC Bank; and to conference partners SPARK (Strong, Prepared and Ready for Kindergarten), the City of Aurora's early childhood collaboration, the YWCA Child Care Resource and Referral, and One Hope United.