NSTA Launches STEM Initiative for Children 5 and Under

The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) has launched a new program designed to promote interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) among children 5 and under.

NSTA President Carolyn Hayes introduced the NSTA Initiative for Learners 0 to 5 April 21 during the Advancing Active STEM Education for Our Youngest Learners event at the White House in Washington, D.C.

The array of early learning resources is intended to help preschool and elementary school teachers, parents and child care providers engage young learners and introduce them to STEM ideas at a very early age.

"It's never too early to start learning," Hayes said. "Long before they are taught science in school, children develop ideas about their natural world by examining interesting objects, taking field trips and reading aloud with engaging non-fiction choices about life, Earth, space and physical science.”

The NSTA initiative resources include:

  • NSTA Kids, children's picture books (in both English and Spanish) that impart science concepts with narratives and bold graphics;
  • Head Start on Science, which has 89 hands-on teacher-led activities for children ages 3 to 7 (in both English and Spanish);
  • Start Young Early Childhood Activities with activities designed for everyday use and two dozen articles compiled from "Science and Children," NSTA's journal for early childhood and elementary school teachers;
  • Uncovering Student Ideas in Primary Science for Grades K-2, a how-to guide that educators, homeschoolers and parents can use to stimulate ideas for students at that age about science; and
  • A community online forum dedicated to early childhood learning with resources and advice that is part of the NSTA Learning Center.

"We know young children have the ability and interest to discover and explain the natural world around them," said NSTA Executive Director David Evans. "Early educators and parents need to work together to support and guide young children in a way that will create strong foundational skills in STEM."

About the Author

Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.