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Regents' Center for Early Developmental Education

Professional Development

Young children experiment to learn about the world around them. Physical science activities engage children in experimentation to figure out how things work. Participants will see videos of children using physical science materials, will experiment with the materials themselves, and will learn how to use them in their own settings.

Our workshops and professional development courses have been designed for teachers of 3-year-olds to 2nd grade. All workshops are 3 hours in length and are limited to 24 participants. While workshops pique educators' interest in STEM activities, professional development over time is more satisfying and productive. The Regents' Center will contract with centers and school districts to provide professional development and allow teachers to earn UNI graduate credit. The professional development will be designed to meet your center or district's specific needs.

Please contact regents.center@uni.edu to schedule a workshop or inquire about professional development.

Air Dynamics: Exploring and Engineering Air Streams
Limited to 24 participants (3 hours)

Can you move an object across the table without touching it? Can you make a ping pong ball levitate? Teachers can give these challenges to teach about air dynamics. Participants will explore dynamics of air and learn how to facilitate children's experimentation and scientific inquiry.


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Assisting Children in Conflict Resolution
Limited to 24 participants (3 hours)

Focus on how to help young children learn to resolve conflicts non-violently and negotiate with one another.  Explore how to turn conflicts into opportunities for children's learning.


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Developing Mathematical Reasoning through Playing Games
Limited to 24 participants (3 hours)

Playing games, children have the opportunity to engage in and develop logical thinking, number sense, oral language, reading, and writing.  They reason about strategies, learn to take turns, take another person's perspective, and negotiate.  Participants will play games and learn how to maximize the learning opportunities that games offer young children.


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Developing Spatial Thinking with Pattern Block Puzzle Frames
Limited to 24 participants (3 hours)

Explore another way to use pattern blocks present in many high-quality early childhood classrooms that challenges children in cognitive flexibility, working memory, and inhibitory control as they develop spatial thinking, essential in STEM.


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Exploring Force and Motion through Ramps and Pathways
Limited to 24 participants (3 hours)

Young children engage in reasoning about physics when they try to figure out how to achieve an exciting result by building structures with pathways for marbles and other objects. The workshop will provide participants the opportunity to experience a physical science activity that is appealing from ages 3 to 83!


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Exploring Geometry through Block Building
Limited to 24 participants (3 hours)

While unit blocks have long been a staple in early childhood classrooms, their use in promoting children’s development in geometry and spatial reasoning has been underutilized.


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Exploring Light and Shadow
Limited to 24 participants (3 hours)

Children experiment with light and shadow using opaque, translucent, and transparent objects to create specific kinds of shadows.  Ultimately, this grows into engineering shadow puppet presentations.


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Exploring Physics of Sound through Musical Instrument Making
Limited to 24 participants (3 hours)

A great way to learn about the physics of sound is through experimenting with making musical instruments. Using everyday objects such as tin cans and rubber bands, children learn how to control different aspects of sound such as pitch, loudness, timbre, and duration.


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Let It Flow: Exploring Water Movement
Limited to 24 participants (3 hours)

Water activities can be more than just play. Children can experiment and learn about the dynamics of water, such as how size and placement of holes in cups affect flow. Participants will experiment with water materials and will learn how to inspire children's investigation into the characteristics of water.


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Pancakes, Pudding, and Problem-Solving: Investigating Chemistry in Cooking
Limited to 24 participants (3 hours)

Young children love to cook! Cooking is a grown-up activity that engages children in science, math, and literacy. Participants will explore the value of cooking from an educational point of view, use child-tested recipes, and see how children can use simple kitchen appliances to produce tasty learning! Safe and practical chemistry for young children.


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