Regents' Center for Early Developmental Education

Light & Shadow (Test)

Light and Shadow has been selected by the Iowa Governor STEM Advisory Council for a Scale Up Award. Because of this, we are now able to offer Light and Shadow as a one-credit course delivered over two face-to-face sessions and ongoing work using social media.


A. Light & Shadow professional learning and materials follow an NSF-funded framework for a developmentally-appropriate and classroom-tested approach to integrative STEM that engages young children in grades preK- 2nd grade. Light & Shadow is designed to nurture engineering habits of mind and spatial thinking as children engineer light sources, screens, and materials to produce a specific effect. In the process, children grapple with how some materials allow light to pass through them, others allow only some light through and others block all the light and create a dark shadow on any surface beyond them, and how light can be reflected and redirected.


Light & Shadow aligns with the following standards:

Iowa Early Learning Standards:


Area 3: Approaches to Learning

Standard 3.1: Curiosity and Initiative

      - 3.1.PS Children express curiosity, interest, and initiative in exploring the environment, engaging in experiences, and learning new skills.

Standard 3.2 Engagement and Persistence

      - 3.2.PS Children purposefully choose and persist in experiences and play.

Standard 3.3 Reasoning and Problem Solving.

      - 3.3.PS Children purposefully demonstrate strategies for reasoning and problem solving.

Standard 3.4 Play and Senses

      - 3.4.PS Children engage in play to learn.


Area 8: Science

Standard 8.1 Scientific Investigations

      - 8.1.PS Children gather information and conduct investigations to address their wonderings and test solutions to problems.

Standard 8.2 Scientific Reasoning

      - 8.2.PS Children use reasoning to make sense of information and design solutions to problems in their environment.

Standard 8.3 Scientific Communication

      - 8.3.PS Children share information and understanding about experiences in their environment.


Area 7: Mathematics

Standard 7.2 Patterns

      - 7.2.PS Children understand patterns.

Standard 7.3 Shapes and Spatial Relationships

      - 7.3.PS Children understand shapes and spatial relationships

Standard 7.5 Data Analysis

      - 7.5.PS Children demonstrate the process of data analysis by sorting and classifying, asking questions, and finding answers.


Next Generation Science Standards:

KG - G2




This Scale Up award enables us to offer a Light & Shadow Kit to accompany professional learning through our STEMware Market Place.

B.  Cost for the Light & Shadows kit is $2,450 which includes:

       a.   - Screens

                 + floor large screen with translucent screen

                 + table top small screen with opaque and translucent screens

       b.   - Variety of light sources

                 + LED work lights (minimum of two)
                 + Light boards (two)
                 + Closet push lights (three)
                 + Maglite flashlights (three)
                 + Hand-cranked flashlight
                 + Set of tea lights

       c.   - Variety of materials to interact with light and shadow

                + Set of clear plastic blocks
                + Set of wood-framed colored blocks
                + Theater gels

       d.   - Print resources

                + Stop Faking It! Finally Understanding Science so You Can Teach It by William C. Robertson
                + Setting up a Light and Shadow STEM Center by Iowa Regents’ Center for Early Developmental Education      

       e.   - Wooden storage cart for light and shadow materials