Early STEM Learning

Editor Dennis Schatz welcomes readers to the fourth issue, which addresses the theme STEM for Early Learners.

 

Welcome to the fourth issue, addressing the theme STEM for Early Learners. Karen Worth, expert in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education for early learners, makes clear how important early experiences in STEM are:

“There is a growing understanding and recognition of the power of children’s early thinking and learning, as well as a belief that science may be a particularly important domain in early childhood, serving not only to build a basis for future scientific understanding, but also to build important skills and attitudes for learning.”

Science in Early Childhood Classrooms: Content and Process (SEED Paper, Fall 2010)

In this issue, you will find examples of effective programs, from a preschool in a science center, to professional development for Head Start educators, to preparing preservice early learning educators.

Connected Science Learning Serves an Important Need

Everyone at the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) and the Association for Science–Technology Centers are delighted with the reception the journal received from STEM education professionals. Each call for contributions received almost twice the number of submissions than we can publish in each issue. Clearly, the journal meets a need for STEM educators to share effective programs that connect in-school and out-of-school STEM learning experiences. The value of the journal is reinforced by the results of the summative evaluation of the first issues, conducted by Kelly Riedinger at Oregon State University:

  1. Not only are STEM education professionals satisfied with the pilot issues, but they also recognize the journal fills a current void in resources that feature projects and partnerships that span traditional education boundaries and identify successful partnerships and models that create connections across the learning ecosystem.
  2. STEM education professionals appreciated that the journal translates research to practical applications, offers a mechanism for connecting STEM education practitioners, and provides an outlet where out-of-school education practitioners can write about and share details of their
  3. STEM education professionals, as a result of engaging with the journal, became more familiar with research in the field, learned more about other education settings and how they contribute to the learning ecosystem, acquired new resources for implementing STEM education, and learned about effective partnership.

Please Submit Content for the Seventh and Eighth Issues

Issue 7

Making Experiences That Inspire STEM Learning.
Submissions due January 15, 2018; Published in summer 2018.

Issue 8

STEM Learning Connected to Afterschool Settings.
Submissions due April 15, 2018; published in fall 2018.

Please share this information with colleagues who are involved in projects that match the goals of the journal. Although each issue has a theme, we also seek submissions that match the broader goals of the journal without linking to the individual themes.

More about Connected Science Learning, including detailed submission guidelines, is available on the NSTA website.