The first five years of a child’s life is characterized by gaining tremendous knowledge about the world around them. How a child processes the information they absorb during this crucial time of development is something that the American educational system has largely ignored until recently. It’s that vacancy in a child’s education that Science Akadémeia, the Atlanta Preschool of Science (SATAPOS), plans to provide by integrating an advanced, research-based curriculum called Seeds of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics). It is the first STEM preschool in Georgia using this proven program.
Developed by researchers from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), the College of the Holy Cross, and teachers from the Worcester Child Development Head Start Program, the Seeds of STEM curriculum utilizes engineering techniques to guide learning.
The overarching goal of the project is to support the teaching and learning of STEM practices in early childhood and, as a result, increase students’ STEM readiness. The curriculum is developed to achieve two main student learning outcomes:
(1) Children who experience the Seeds of STEM curriculum will demonstrate
improved ability to appropriately use STEM vocabulary that is integral to the
engineering design process.
(2) Children who experience the Seeds of STEM curriculum will demonstrate
improved ability to conduct each step of the engineering design process, which
includes the following: define/explain a problem in their own words, propose
multiple solutions to solve the problem, test and improve one solution of choice,
and communicate the solution others.*
“We have a responsibility to jump start our students’ learning with a 21stCentury educational curriculum like Seeds of STEM,” says Evangeline Agbogu, a former Emory University Research Scientist, Founder and Administrator of the school. “To truly empower a child, a customized science education framework that is developmentally appropriate, fun and exciting in a happy nurturing environment must be the rule, not the exception.”
Agbogu earned her B.S. in Biology/Microbiology from The Ohio State University and an M.S in Education Instruction from Central Michigan University. The first Atlanta Preschool of Science was born out of her own love for science and nurtured as an inquisitive child who was always curious about how things worked and her love of nature. She brings that same curiosity to our students where she cultivates their understanding of how things work and the natural world.
The learning process for human beings begins at birth. From the second a child is born, complex patterns of communication and reasoning takes place. He or she instinctively engages in problem-solving from understanding language and how to communicate, to feeding, crawling, and walking. Each learns through identifying patterns that elicit feedback and love.
Seeds of STEM integrates science concepts with engineering practices allowing children to define and research a problem, brainstorm possible solutions with classmates, and sort solutions into testable/non-testable in a classroom setting. Solutions are then tested, revised and shared. More importantly, a foundation of collaboration to find solutions is integral as children share their work (ideas, plans, and prototypes) with their peers.
According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Over the next 10 years, the United States will continue to be transformed by technological advancements rooted in computer programs and applications,” such as, “artificial intelligence, robotics, machine learning, and other technologies in the marketplace. The World Economic Forum estimates that over 60 percent of global GDP will be digitized by 2022, and 70 percent of new value created in the global economy over the next decade will be based on business models with digitally enabled platforms.”**
Science Akadémeia provides a full-day, year-round program for children ages 2 years to 6 years and after school care for elementary to middle-schoolers. Special STEM activities and programs will be offered throughout the year including coding, robotics, tutorials, science experiments for elementary to middle-schoolers.
Interested parents and students are invited and encouraged to visit during Science Akadémeia’s Open House this Friday, July 9 from 12 to 6pm and/or Saturday, July 10th from 12 to 6pm at 9550 Nesbit Ferry Road, Alpharetta, Georgia. Private tours may be scheduled as well by calling (770) 282-6891 or emailing Administrator@SATAPOS.COM.
*Chapter 12, Seeds of STEM: The Development of a Problem-Based STEM Curriculum for Early Childhood Classrooms, Mia Dubosarsky, Melissa Sue John, Florencia Anggoro, Susmitha Wunnava and Ugur Celik
** Alan Zilberman and Lindsey Ice, “Why computer occupations are behind strong STEM employment growth in the 2019–29 decade,” Beyond the Numbers: Employment & Unemployment, vol. 10, no. 1 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 2021)
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