Dr. Beth Van Meeteren will be presenting Ramps and Pathways: A fun integration of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics at the NAEYC 2016 Annual Conference & Expo in Los Angeles, CA on November 2, 2016 from 8:30 am - 11:30 am.
Ramps and Pathways is a physical science and engineering activity involving inclined planes and the movement of objects that is both developmentally appropriate and intellectually rigorous. An integration of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, 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. Technology refers to any modification of the natural world done to fulfill human needs or desires, and engineering refers to designing objects, processes, and systems to meet human wants and needs. So technology and engineering work hand-in-hand. Participants will use marbles, objects that roll and do not roll, and various materials that can be used as ramps to build ramp structures and investigate the movement of marbles and other objects on inclined planes. They will have an opportunity to explore force and motion, by using the ramps materials to investigate the movement of objects on inclines.
Participants will learn developmentally appropriate ways to support young children’s inquiry through capitalizing on their interests and curiosity. Participants will learn how to use Ramps and Pathways activities to promote children’s development of practical understanding of force and motion, design, and engineering habits of
mind. 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 promote the higher-order thinking, and supporting children’s active investigation.