UW INSPIRE

Story Time STEM

The Opportunity


Information sheet

Today, national, state, and local attention is focused on developing high quality early childhood education experiences that foster family, community, and cultural strengths and support PreK-3rd graders to grow as readers, writers, mathematicians, and scientists. Critical to that aim is developing resources and learning opportunities for the adults who live and work with young children to engage children in meaningful learning experiences. Locally, schools and other child and family serving community organizations are at different stages in addressing this challenge. The Story Time STEM project brings some of these regional players together to develop resources aimed to support the learning of adults and children that can be utilized across contexts.

We know that both formal and informal educators are critical players in fostering the cognitive learning of young children. Our resources include toolkits that adults can use to expand shared story read-alouds in classrooms, libraries, after school programs and homes. These tools will help educators enrich shared reading experiences through mathematical, literary and scientific talk, ultimately supporting children’s disciplinary dispositions, mindsets, knowledge, and practices.

Story Time STEM was initiated in 2015 by a group called Partnerships for Early Learning (PEL). Since that time partner organizations have included UW Seattle and UW Bothell, King County Library System, Para los Niños, YMCA Powerful Schools, Chinese Information Service Center, Seattle Public Schools early learning department and Issaquah School District.

 

‚ÄčStory Time STEM in EdWeek! 

(May 4, 2017)

The work of the partners is to:

  • Develop authentically reciprocal research-practice partnerships to support young learners.
  • Develop a set of resources for shared reading experiences exploring math, science, and literacy concepts that can be utilized across a variety of informal and formal learning settings for young children (PreK-3rd grade).
  • Design and implement in-person and online adult learning experiences for educators (including families) to support children’s growth.
  • Gauge the impact of these resources on educator practices and young children’s learning in literacy, mathematics, and science.
  • Share these resources with formal and informal educators in the region.

Increasing diversity in STEM education and STEM fields means incorporating ways of knowing from a wide range of cultures. We know that STEM fields need a rich diversity of perspectives to meet the needs of the 21stcentury. We also know that STEM fields in the U.S. have traditionally left out many of these voices and ways of making sense of our world. One way that has happened is by restricting access to conversations and institutions making knowledge and operating in these fields. Developing authentic learning partnerships across contexts and across research and practice is one important part of undoing this pattern that serves to obstruct the process of identifying and meeting the challenges communties face now and in the future.

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Mission Statement

The Pilotp1190348

Story Time STEM toolkits are flexible across PK-3rdgrade contexts and are designed to be used by classroom teachers, librarians, out-of-school practitioners, and families. The toolkits are developed around science themes including food, water, and plants. Each toolkit includes four read-aloud books, two resource books, guides for shared reading and discussion, supplies for related activities and additional resource information. These toolkits are designed to work within current shared reading, read-aloud or story times. Our goal is to support adults to engage children in the exploration of math, science, and literacy concepts by experiencing and discussing children’s literature. These experiences encourage children’s engagement, thinking and learning. In 2018-19 the partners are working together to develop and try out a fourth shared reading toolkit focused on engineering.

Take a peak at some sample bookmarks from Story Time STEM's plants toolkit.

For more information contact Deborah Massachi (massachi@uw.edu).

Story Time STEM has been supported by the generosity of the Boeing Company.