We will discuss the impact of presenting STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) through hands-on, play-based activities and implementing the maker movement into early childhood environments. Included in the conversation will be tool selection, room layout, and scaffolding of activities.
As leaders in early education, the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry (CML) understands that the most successful method for presenting science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to young learners is through hands-on, play-based activities. Research has shown play to be the most effective method for helping children ages 2-12 build and retain STEM skills. CML’s pilot exhibit, Idea Factory, and upcoming exhibit, Shape Space, are early childhood maker spaces in which children can design, build and de-construct! As the maker movement grows, we recognize that our young visitors deserve a space where they can manipulate real tools and build real skills. Tinkering in the Idea Factory & Shape Space builds fine motor skills as children manipulate small materials and tools, problem solving abilities as children design a project and work through issues that arise, communication skills, teamwork and collaboration skills as they work with their caregivers or other children and share their ideas. During this session, we will discuss the benefits of play-based activities and implementing the maker movement into early childhood environments. Included in the conversation will be tool selection, room layout, and scaffolding of activities. Participants will identify ways they can promote STEM learning through play-based activities and implement maker activities in their environments.
About Nichole Myles
Nichole Myles assumed the role of Executive Director of CML in 2015. Throughout her career, Myles has worked in the areas of education, STEM, literacy and interdisciplinary curriculum development. Myles recently became a Furman University Riley Fellow and has served as a speaker and panelist at a variety of conferences.
About Starr Jordan
Starr Jordan is the Director of Education at CML. Previously, she served as Director of the Lowcountry Hall of Science and Math at the College of Charleston, where she developed, implemented, and evaluated professional development opportunities for K-12 educators and outreach events in STEM for K-12 students.