It's never too early for STEM! In fact, children as young as 15 months are already engaged in STEM activities and scientific observation in East End House's Child Care Program. "The children are naturally curious," says Director Camille Platt, "We just design activities to encourage them to explore, question and experiment. The more visual and hands-on you can make it, the more they understand." Do you have a young friend at home, or are you just young at heart? Try this activity at home!
Lined up along the classroom wall, the kindergarteners anxiously await the signal to launch.
"3, 2, 1, BLAST OFF!"
Paper airplanes float across the classroom, children scurrying after them to measure the flight distance. The group hypothesizes that pink planes will fly further than green. How will they use the scientific method to test their hypothesis?
How do we ensure our STEM programs are achieving the desired outcomes? One way is through East End House's work with Program in Education, Afterschool, and Resiliency (PEAR), an affiliate of McLean Hospital and Harvard Medical School.
This article, co-authored by PEAR and East End House, highlights East End House as a case study in the development of a quality assessment tool that evaluates STEM activities in out-of-school time programs. The article was published in the most recent edition of Afterschool Matters.
East End House would like to thank the Biogen Idec Foundation and the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's 21st Century Community Learning Centers program for their generous support of this work. Read the article here.
At East End House, we prepare children and youth to thrive academically and professionally. In the 21st century, this involves building the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) skills that are growing increasingly essential in almost every field. East End House has become a leader of out-of-school-time STEM education.
This month's newsletter provides a glimpse of how East End House provides children and youth with unique STEM learning opportunities.
"The difference between science and the arts is not that they are different sides of the same coin… or even different parts of the same continuum, but rather, they are manifestations of the same thing. The arts and sciences are avatars of human creativity." - Mae Jemison
Jemison was the first African American woman in space, a doctor, and also a dancer. Her quotation articulates a false dichotomy in much of public thought: science and art are, in fact, integral to one another. East End House joins with others in Cambridge and nationwide to insert creativity to STEM education, by adding an "A," and introducing STEAM.