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 for infants and toddlers to explore by tipping, rolling, bouncing, throwing, and moving. It appeals to children’s interests and desires to figure out how the physical world works and to modify the physical world to make something interesting happen. Photos and videotapes of children using the materials in classrooms and teachers interacting with children will illustrate principles of teaching that will guide teachers in setting up the environment, intervening in ways that provide multiple opportunities for young children to explore the properties and functions of objects in order to nurture the development of STEM learning dispositions.
The content of the presentation includes: (1) exploring the ways that teachers can facilitate STEM learning with infants and toddlers by choosing open-ended materials that allow exploration and problem solving; 2) the importance of nurturing the natural “scientist” in very young children by supporting their pursuit of new understandings, fostering their endless curiosity and the fearlessness for learning, and nurturing their boundless determination to explore and discover their world; 3) providing multiple opportunities for young children to explore the properties and functions of objects in order to nurture the development of STEM learning dispositions; and 4) a description of activities that will help very young children to focus and build stamina for learning while stimulating their developing brains and refining sensory and movement systems.
To learn more about Ramps & Pathways, please visit our Ramps & Pathways website.