On October 3rd, Beth Van Meeteren, Mary Donegan-Ritter, and Sherri Peterson presented a full day pre-institute session at the Iowa Early Learning Fall Institute at Prairie Meadows in Altoona.
Along with the focus on Chutes & Silos and Ramps and Pathways, the session “Engaging All Learners in STEM Learning Experiences” is a hands-on workshop, participants are given the opportunity to enhance and further advance their understanding of the developmental progression young children demonstrate when engaging in STEM experiences. These activities integrate learning about science, technology, engineering and math in developmentally appropriate ways that promote executive functional skills. The principles of Universal Design for Learning were used to provide teachers with strategies and a framework for planning a physical science inquiry learning center. Participants explored a variety of interesting materials, discussed ways to present the materials and modify the environment so that all children can participate in physical science learning centers, and identified the early learning standards that can be met through STEM experiences.