Waco ISD Extends In-Class STEM Instruction for Pre-K Students
After completing a yearlong pilot program, Waco Independent School District (Waco, TX) has extended the amount of class time spent teaching STEM topics to its pre-K students from two minutes to an average of 36 minutes per day.
The district ran a pilot program for the 2014-15 school year where pre-K students tested out the online and activity-based STEMscopes Early Explorer curriculum developed by Rice University and Accelerate Learning. “It is built from the ground up to Head Start, state and national pre-kindergarten and kindergarten guidelines, and is scaffolded to prepare students for Next Generation Science Standards in kindergarten,” according to a prepared statement from Accelerate Learning. The curriculum includes 12 STEM modules with strong connections to English language arts, writing and math. In addition, STEMscopes Early Explorer offers teacher materials, videos and other resources that make it easy to integrate science into their daily lessons.
Mary Konrad, an early childhood education coordinator for Waco ISD said using the curriculum enhanced the district’s already strong pre-K program. “Across the board, our kindergarten teachers say it’s obvious which children used STEMscopes Early Explorer in [pre-K] and which did not.”