Regents' Center for Early Developmental Education

Professional Development

Iowa 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 second 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.

The cost of our Iowa 3-hour workshops for Iowa Child Care Resource & Referral are $600 plus travel expenses.  For all other organizations, the cost of our Iowa 3-hour workshops are $750 plus travel expenses.  There's an additional charge of $25 per person for any workshop more than 24 participants.

Please contact regents.center@uni.edu to schedule a workshop or inquire about tailoring professional development to meet your unique needs.

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?  Learn how to pose problems for young children to entice them to investigate air dynamics – and play with the materials yourself to solve the problems with your fellow teachers!  Air dynamics engages children and adults in inquiry about using engineering tools and systems to control the effect


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

Conflict is inevitable among young children, even among those engaged in a developmentally appropriate curriculum.  When adults engage and support children as they learn to solve their own conflicts, they help to foster mutual respect, prompt children to change how they think and feel, and provide an opportunity to begin to listen to and understand a peer’s different perspective.  These are nec


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Chutes & Silos: Exploring Force and Motion with Infants and Toddlers
Limited to 24 participants (3 hours)

Chutes and Silos is a physical science activity involving clear acrylic tubes and a variety of objects such as balls, cylinders, natural materials, and found objects.  Infants and toddlers can explore force and motion by tipping, rolling, bouncing, throwing, and moving.  Participants will learn how to set up the environment and to provide multiple opportunities for infants and toddlers to figur


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Contents and Containers: Exploring Space with Infants and Toddlers
Limited to 24 participants (3 hours)

Infants and toddlers are continually trying to get a sense of the space around them and their place within it. They figure out how to navigate through space and how various objects fit together.


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

When teachers introduce games that emphasize hands-on and interactive learning, children develop STEM concepts and habits of mind.  Games that interest children and stimulate their thinking support logical thinking, number sense, oral language, reading, writing.  They also provide opportunities to reason about strategies, learn to take turns, take another person’s perspective, and negotiate.


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

Explore a new way to use the pattern blocks available in many high-quality early childhood classrooms.  These puzzle frames challenge children as they develop spatial thinking that is essential in STEM disciplines.  As they learn, they build cognitive flexibility, working memory, and inhibitory control.

 


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

Children reason about force and motion as they design and build structures with pathways for marbles and other objects.  In the process, they learn how the properties of an object affect its movement and influence design.

To learn more about Ramps & Pathways, please visit our Ramps & Pathways website. 


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

Examine unit blocks from the perspective of mathematics research and learn how to engage children in spatial thinking and physics in the block center.  Participants will work together to grapple with the same design and engineering problems that young children face.  Learn the critical importance of providing and facilitating building materials in early childhood settings.

 


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

Light and Shadow is designed to nurture engineering habits of mind and spatial thinking as children manipulate light sources, screens, and other materials to produce a specific effect.  Participants will have the opportunity to create with the same materials.

 


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

Learn how to take musical instrument-making from a craft to a high-quality STEM experience.  A great way to learn about the physics of sound is by experimenting with materials that can be manipulated in different ways to make a sound.  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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