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Resources

The Successful STEM Resource Library includes programs and projects featured at STEM Smart workshops, as well as briefs based on research and recommendations from the National Research Council reports, Successful K-12 STEM Education and Monitoring Progress Toward Successful K-12 STEM Education.

PEEP features a chicken, named Peep, a robin (Chirp), and an irascible, endearing duck (Quack), as well as an extended family of friends and (occasional) foes. The show takes place in and around a large urban park—a place of great wonder and mystery, and a place Peep, Quack, and Chirp are forever eager to explore. Airing in both English (on public television) and Spanish (on VMe), each televised half-hour contains two animated stories that highlight specific science or math concepts and two...
Current data on school readiness and early math and science achievement indicate we are not giving young children the support they need to be “STEM Smart".
To address the need for outdoor environments that are intentionally designed to elicit STEM learning while inspiring free play, the University of Cincinnati’s Arlitt Child and Family Research and Education Center and Cincinnati Nature Center partnered to create the Cincinnati Nature PlayScape Initiative. The premises and practices embraced by the initiative were derived from existing research and practice in the fields of early education, biological sciences, and environmental psychology....
The Ramps and Pathways project reflects an approach to engaging young children with physical science and engineering that is both developmentally appropriate and intellectually rigorous. It capitalizes on young children’s intrinsic desire to make something interesting happen; specifically, it engages children in designing, building, and using increasingly more complex ramp structures on which to move spheres and other objects. In doing so, it engages children in the design process: ask a...
This program of research, funded by the NSF, has shown that individual differences in early spatial skills are important factors, both in students’ early acquisition of arithmetic and their later math reasoning skills. Spatial skills consist of the ability to use mental pictures for solutions to problems—such as interpreting graphs, charts, and maps, and understanding geometry and measurement problems. It is particularly important to study the relation between spatial skills and math...
Carey’s career has been dedicated to understanding the human capacity for conceptual representations. We are the only animal that can ponder the causes and cures of global warming or pancreatic cancer, yet we share many cognitive resources with other animals. What makes possible the human conceptual repertoire? As a matter of logic, answering this question requires specifying the innate representations infants use to make sense of their world, describing them in detail, characterizing the adult...
The SciMath-DLL project aims to provide inservice teachers with the classroom-based supports they need to improve practice. It involves the design, development, and preliminary testing of an inservice professional development approach that integrates high-quality math and science instructional offerings with supports for DLLs. Our project aims to enhance teacher knowledge and classroom interactions around mathematics and science, improve classroom supports for DLLs, and illustrate that rich...
Next Generation Preschool Math (NGPM) is an NSF-funded collaboration between researchers, media developers, and teachers that aims to develop preschool classroom activities and innovative tablet-based games to help preschool children learn sophisticated mathematics concepts crucial to early school success. As part of this effort, the NGPM team is addressing one of the most salient controversies facing preschool educators today: What, if any, are the most appropriate roles for technology in the...
With funding from the NSF, the Building Blocks project achieved its goal of helping children find the mathematics in, and develop the mathematics from, their everyday activities—from art and stories, to puzzles and games. Comprised of print materials, software, and more, Building Blocks is designed to help children learn number concepts, such as counting, basic arithmetic, and spatial and geometric concepts and processes. Building Blocks helps all children learn to mathematize their informal...
The Development of Model-Based Reasoning project team conducted research on the origins and development of modeling in students from kindergarten through middle school. The research goal of the project, which is now completed, was to track the growth of students’ capability and propensity to take a modeling stance toward the world as they conducted long-term studies of local ecosystems (a pond, a restored prairie, a school forest) near their school. There was also an associated professional...
The Developmental Technology (DevTech) Research Group examines the role of computational technologies that are developmentally appropriate for young children and that help them learn about new things in new ways. DevTech is exploring the notion of what is "developmentally appropriate" in the light of the opportunities for inquiry and active construction of knowledge offered by new technologies that engage children in programming activities. Through NSF funding, the DevTech Research...
In 2000, Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC), began work on the NSF-funded project The Tool Kit for Early Childhood Science Education. That work—a collaboration between teachers, professional developers, scientists, and science educators—resulted in the Young Scientist Series, a comprehensive curriculum designed to improve science teaching and learning for children ages 3–5. Each curriculum unit includes a teacher’s guide and multimedia professional development materials. The units include...
The mission of the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center (SEEC) is two-fold: to provide a high-quality educational program for young children and to advance educational opportunities for all children by sharing SEEC’s expertise on a national level, thereby furthering the education mandate of the Smithsonian Institution (SI).