Professional Learning

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 learning 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 learning over time is more satisfying and productive. The Regents' Center will contract with centers and school districts to provide professional learning and allow teachers to earn UNI graduate credit. The professional learning 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 $800.  For all other organizations, the cost of our Iowa 3-hour workshops are $1000.  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 learning to meet your unique needs.


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...

During ramp construction this four-year-old builds a curved path and tries to line it with straight blocks. He includes barriers to cause the marble to change directions as well as keep it from...

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...

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...

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. In...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Young children sense from birth that shadow is a significant presence and are curious about what they notice when light changes or shadows appear. Teachers can provoke infants and toddlers to explore...

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...

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...

Making sound has important developmental benefits for young children.  Infants and toddlers learn by exploring the cause and effect of making sounds.  They are interested in investigating materials...

In this workshop, participants will be introduced to four aspects of our educational environment that can result in nurturing or hindering emotional and academic development. Socio-Moral Environment...

Block play offers opportunities for learning scientific concepts such as cause and effect, and mathematical concepts such as quantity, classification, and ordering.  Participants will learn how to...

Experimenting with bubbles made of soap film gives children an opportunity to construct relationships about light and color, surface tension, and chemical composition.  Children – and adults too! --...

Water activities can be much more than sensory 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...

Young children love to cook!  Cooking is a grown-up activity that engages children in all aspects of STEM and provides an opportunity for meaningful literacy experiences.  Participants will explore...

Adults who work with children come to an environment rich with materials and space to inspire STEM learning.  During the workshop participants will choose a variety of STEM centers filled with high...

Ramps and Pathways gives children endless possibilities to think and create. They build, test their ramp structures, make adjustments, and try again until they are successful. We have found that...

Physics in Early Childhood and Elementary Classrooms:  A Constructive Approach.  Presented by the Regents' Center for Early Developmental Education at the University of Northern Iowa. © 2005 Iowa...

A group of four-year-olds are working together on a long straight ramp. They are having trouble getting the marble to go all the way to the end of the pathway. The teacher is close by, observing what...

Not all children or their adults have played with tops, but most of us have experienced rotational motion.  Participants will investigate tops and everyday objects to meet high-quality STEM...