The STEM for Our Youngest Learners Series is seven practical guidebooks rooted securely in the theory, science, and practice of how best to introduce various STEM topics to very young children. One strength of the series is the constructivist framework integrated with the Inquiry Teaching Model (ITM), a model designed to help teachers implement child-centered teaching to support children’s understanding and application of STEM. The ITM builds on constructivism and adds support for teachers to implement inquiry-based learning (IBL). This approach to inquiry-based teaching (constructivism combined with ITM) provides a strong foundation for the critical thinking skills needed in the future workforce.
Each volume investigates a particular subject and includes:
Further the series is aligned with both the Head Start Early Learning Objectives Framework (ELOF) and the NGSS Science and Engineering Practices. Examples within the books help teachers develop their students’ engineering habits of mind (systems thinking, optimism, creativity, communication, collaboration, attention to ethical considerations) and encourage the development of children’s executive function skills (EFs).
Book 1: The premier book, Investigating STEM with Infants and Toddlers (Birth–3), starts at the very beginning by introducing the Infant Toddler Inquiry Learning Model (ILM), a new way to think about how our youngest children explore, think, and learn STEM, and demonstrating how the ILM can guide teachers in implementing STEM experiences for this age group. Readers will see how the model works in real life; how STEM topics can be naturally embedded in daily routines and activities; and how to observe, understand, and interact with young children as they explore.
Books 2–7: The next six books are for the 3–8 age group and each focuses on a particular STEM topic in depth:
Investigating Light and Shadow with Young Children (Ages 3–8)
Investigating Ramps and Pathways with Young Children (Ages 3–8)
Investigating Water with Young Children (Ages 3–8)
Investigating Chemistry of Cooking with Young Children (Ages 3–8)
Investigating Sound with Young Children (Ages 3–8)
Investigating Rotational Motion with Young Children (Ages 3–8)
Beth Dykstra Van Meeteren is director of the Iowa Regents’ Center for Early Developmental Education and associate professor of literacy education at the University of Northern Iowa.
A selection of co-editors and contributors to the series includes:
Linda May Fitzgerald