JOHNSON CITY (August 1, 2011) — A two-day conference, “Ramps and Pathways: Physical Science and Engineering for Early Childhood,” was held recently at East Tennessee State University.
Classroom teachers, Tennessee Department of Education consultants and others involved with teaching young children gathered to learn the Ramps and Pathways curriculum. The hands-on workshop focused on the physics and engineering processes that children learn while engaged in building ramp structures.
Marita White, a first-grade teacher from Memphis, commented, “This training was phenomenal! It provides a cohesive overlay to what Tennessee is doing with the Common Core standards, highlighting and enhancing the scientific process, and most importantly, empowering children.”
The participants are now certified to train others to use Ramps and Pathways methods in early childhood classrooms.
The curriculum has been implemented in Iowa, Alabama, Idaho and Texas through a field study sponsored by a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The grant, a project of the Regents’ Center for Early Developmental Education at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, supported the development and field testing of Ramps and Pathways with three-year-olds through second graders.
The field study has indicated that children who engage in Ramps and Pathways curriculum make significant gains in the process skills related to problem solving and inquiry.
The Regents’ Center in Iowa also received funding to create the Center for Early Education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (CEESTEM). CEESTEM’s goal is to disseminate information on best practices in early childhood science, technology, engineering and math education and to provide professional development nationwide. Tennessee was chosen as one of three sites for this professional development.
The training session at ETSU, designed to align with the state’s focus on science and math, was provided at no charge to the participants and was fully funded by the NSF and CEESTEM projects.
For further information, contact Dr. Rosemary Geiken of the ETSU Department of Human Development and Learning at (423) 439-7567 or email@example.com.