Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead: Discovery Science & Art Through Play

On February 27th, early childhood educators gathered to recognize the importance of introducing the concepts of science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics to children at very young ages.

Our 7th Annual ELN Buffet began with a nourishing breakfast, an opportunity to network and greet friends and colleagues, and view a special video produced by the SFPL  . . . . all about US!

A rich morning of professional development commenced with an exciting keynote by Erin Fortescue of the Center for Childhood Creativity at the Bay Area Discovery Museum.  Her presentation, Curiosity Creates:  Research and Best Practices in Creativity Programming for Children sparked meaningful conversations throughout the morning, as participants brought the ideas, resources, and questions inspired by Fortescue's presentation to each of the breakout sessions.

Pulsing Word and First Book engaged educators with an interactive workshop devoted to discovering the joys of engineering in the early care environment, entitled Roll with it! Nurturing Young Engineers through Play. Using a combination of found materials, classic blocks, and Kodo Kids Ramps and Pathways sets (come play with them at your local public library!), educators explored some core principles of engineering: systems thinking, creativity, collaboration, communication, optimism, and ethical considerations.  Even educators who work with our youngest--infants and toddlers--walked away with ideas for how to bring an "engineering perspective" to their environment.

Tandem and Jumpstart offered Expressing Math Through Art and Design.   workshop was designed to help educators explore the importance of both math and visual arts in the preschool curriculum, as well as to learn and practice new ways of thinking, talking about and teaching math and art concepts, separately or together.   Educators participated in hands-on activities that could be transferred directly into their classrooms while building the confidence they need to design and integrate their own activities in the future.

As always, our goal was to provide San Francisco educators with a morning of learning, networking, and plenty of opportunity to play!  Looking forward to the 8th Annual Buffet in 2017!