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Space Watch

STEM Lessons for Early Childhood Education

In July, teachers in the Space Foundation Space Across the Curriculum teacher professional development course PreK-2 Early Childhood Space Exploration learned age-appropriate, hands-on STEM activities to engage very young children.

Space Across the Curriculum courses are specifically designed to provide teachers with space-based content that is instantly transferable to the classroom and can be integrated across the curriculum. The intensive, graduate-level, week-long summer courses for PreK-12 educators provide science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) standards-based content that can be adapted to all grade levels. Participants do not need to be science or math teachers. Public, private and homeschool teachers from around the globe are welcome.

Fifteen teachers, representing grades PreK through community college, made up a diverse group of educators that attended the teacher professional development course, with four teachers travelling from Wyoming, Missouri and Maryland to attend. Local participants included Brenda Krause, a kindergarten teacher at The Classical Academy (TCA) Central Campus in Colorado Springs, Colo., who received a Space Foundation scholarship to attend the class. The Anna and Kathryn Probert Educator Enrichment Scholarship provided Krause with tuition, materials fees, plus a $500 stipend to attend the course.

The focus of this class is adapting lessons for early elementary grades so that children get exposed to and inspired by STEM content at a very young age. The teachers took part in more than 30 hands-on activities and each day of the class featured a different theme: Astronomy, Earth Science, Life Science, Space Technology/Weather and Rocketry. Guest speakers during the week included Jeff Besse, storm water specialist, City of Colorado Springs, who is active in the City’s public education outreach program, and Rachel Plath, meteorologist, KRDO News Channel 13, who gave a presentation in conjunction with the Space Foundation’s Summer of Discovery “Weather Wonders” week.

Learn more about the Space Foundation’s Space Across the Curriculum teacher professional development courses here.

Pictured: Teachers had fun launching stomp rockets they constructed in the Space Foundation's Space Across the Curriculum course PreK-2 Early Childhood Space Exploration.

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