Category Archives: Early Years

Tips and classroom resources for early childhood school science educators. Click on a headline to read the entire post.

Tinkering in preschool-grade 2

My father called himself a tinker because as an engineer who was a metallurgist and a ceramicist he often applied new uses to the metals he worked with. A bar of aluminum became a tool for cooling coffee just the right amount and slices of copper piping were hammered into rings for his daughters. His […]

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Heat and energy: what can young children understand?

My cat has moved to the top of the radiator for the winter, at least when the boiler is on and warm air is moving up through convection from below. With a house temperature of 66*-68*F, I would also like to lie on it, hopefully with some sunshine radiating light and warmth through the window. […]

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Finding books about systems in cold weather

In cold weather children’s systems of clothing for comfort may become more complicated with added parts of boots, leg warmers, mittens, scarves, hats and coats with multiple fastenings. Reading a book aloud during the time it takes children to get dressed to go outside can help those who are fastest be patient while waiting for others […]

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System exploration in early childhood

When winter sets in, teachers set aside time in the schedule for children to remove and store their winter outwear. Such a variety of clothing systems appear! Coats and jackets with zippers, hoods, snaps and Velcro, mittens and gloves, hats that pull on or strap on, snow pants and overalls, scarves and boots! These items […]

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Problem solving and engineering in play

Unless teachers and parents resist the urge to help as soon as we first see that a child has a problem, we might miss seeing how the child can solve it, possibly developing new skills in the process. (Of course, we use our knowledge of the individual child and the situation to judge when to […]

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Must read—take S&C home over winter break

The December issue of Science and Children will be an issue I refer to often. Consider making it the one resource you take home with you if you have a winter break from teaching so you can have time to read and reflect on how the authors’ experiences and lesson plans might work in your […]

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STEM workers in the trades

On OPB radio’s Think Out Loud interview segment, “Examining The Shortage Of Craft Workers In Oregon,” Dave Miller interviews trade industry experts. Listen to Connie Ashbrook, Executive Director of Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc., talk about construction and manufacturing apprenticeship programs, referencing a Brookings Institute report, “The Hidden STEM Economy,” about STEM careers that do not require a […]

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What will happen if I…. Preparing an effective learning environment with help from Peep

I see it all the time, children wondering what will happen if I….push on this ball, let go of this ball, put this ball in water, or throw this ball? What will happen if I…touch the paper gently with the paintbrush, shake the paint brush, put the brush all the way into the paint or […]

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Recommend a resource for early childhood science and engineering education

Guidance for effective science and engineering teaching can be found in the NSTA position statement on Early Childhood Science Education. Materials for science and engineering science explorations, such as teacher resource books, can support teachers and administrators in implementing the principles and declarations of the position statement. Many books claim to be that inquiry-based, well-researched, aligned […]

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Supporting children’s interests

As we take a nature walk on the paths through a large garden area tended by church members, the children always want to “go to the pond.” This body of water is an 8’ by 10’ pool with pump-circulated water flowing from a raised area. We watch the flow, bubbles and talk about the fine […]

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