Spotlight on an Expert

Check it Out

"Explore, investigate, experiment, and inquire: What do we call it when young children “do” science?"

Click on the link above to read Peggy Ashbrook's blog about early science.

Peggy Ashbrook is an early childhood science educator and author of Science Learning in the Early Years and Science Is Simple. She writes the National Science Teaching Association’s Early Years column in Science and Children and blog,

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Preschool STEM Institute


Preschool STEM Institute
for Teacher Educators
Designed for coaches, master teachers, or educators with responsibilities to coach or train teachers.

July 10 & 11th, 2020

Hosted by the EC STEM Lab team in beautiful East Tennessee
Possible grant funding announced in Nov 2019


to register your interest


Those who Register Interest using this survey will be the first to hear about our possible grant funding and final registration details, which will be announced in Nov 2019
Find Out More

Come Meet Us!

Fall Conferences and Workshop

October 19th. 2:15 - 4:15pm. Workshop
Hagit Mano, Irena Nayfeld, and Mary DiBlasio lead an interactive workshop on:
What makes a square a square? Moving beyond shape recognition in preschool
October 26th. 10:15 - 11:15am. Research presentation and Workshop
Lange presents a research talk and later a workshop on preschool STEM
Teaching STEM to Preschoolers: What, Why, and How 

November 20th. 9:00 - 11:00am (time TBC). Interactive roundtable discussion
Lange and doctoral student, Daisy Tian, facilitate this roundtable discussion entitled: An innovative collaboration to support pre-service candidates in early STEM
November 21. 11:30am - 1pm. Early Math Interest Forum meeting at the Omni Nashville in the Electric room
Join Lange and other experts and educators from across the country to chat about early math and how the EMIF can support NAEYC members. Free snacks/food provided.

November 21. 3:00 - 3:30pm. Book signing at Teachers College Press booth
Brenneman and Lange sign copies of their new book, "Teaching STEM in the Preschool Classroom: Exploring Big Ideas with 3- to 5-Year-Olds"

November 21, 4:30 - 6:00pm. Research Poster at Music City Center, Exhibit Hall B-C-D
Lange and former Master's student, Winona (Shue) Christenson present the poster: Gender differences in spatial language during preschool small group geometry activities
Try It Out!
Math - Geometry: Using pretzel sticks to construct two dimensional shapes.

What To Do
  • Ask, I wonder what we can create with straight lines like these pretzel sticks?
  • Provide children with a handful of pretzel sticks (about 6-8) on a napkin. Children can help you count them.
  • Allow children to create anything they want.
  • Ask children to tell you about their creation. Identify and name any kinds of lines they used (horizontal, diagonal, vertical).
  • Can they identify any shapes in their creation? Can they tell you how they know it is a square or a triangle?
  • Another time, challenge children to create specific shapes.
Books to Share With Children
  • Shape Space by Cathryn Falwe
  • Color Zoo by Lois Ehler
  • Shapes, Shapes, Shapes by Tana Hoban
  • So Many Circles, So Many Squares by Tana Hoban
  •  Mouse Shapes by Ellen Stoll Walsh
  • Shapes by Philip Yenawine
Books for You
  • Learning and Teaching Early Math: The Learning Trajectories Approach by Douglas H. Clements and Julie Sarama
  • Thinking with a Line by Cathy Weisman Topal
  • Big Ideas of Early Mathematics: What Teachers of Young Children Need to Know by Erikson Institute, Early Math Collaborative
Copyright © 2019 Early Childhood STEM Lab, All rights reserved.

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