Yesterday the White House, U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and Invest in US, held an event at the White House on the importance of early STEM education.
The White House received over 200 submissions of innovative STEM work through the Invest in US challenge from leaders across the country, representing state and local entities, foundations, non-profits, media organizations, technology companies, research institutions, and museums. Collectively, the commitments of these leaders have the potential to bring new active STEM content for our youngest children to millions of households across the nation.
For example, the Jim Henson Company will launch a new PBS series, Splash and Bubbles, for children ages four to seven, with a marine biology curriculum that will inspire children to care about the ocean, learn about its “citizens,” and understand that it is a vital part of our planet. The series will be supported with free online destinations and digital apps, printed resources, and local events.
The Hispanic Information and Telecommunications Network is donating 10,000 STEM-focused Family Kits to national organizations that serve low-income families, including home visitation programs, informal learning settings, and community-based organizations, to promote STEM learning at home.
The Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning through the Arts committed $1 million to early childhood arts integration professional development, including a focus on early STEM learning. They also launched an online portal with lesson plans, tips, and best practices for early educators and are raising awareness of the importance of the arts in early STEM learning.
The Massachusetts Department of Early Education will deploy a group of STEM Ambassadors to coach and support over 700 early educators and child care providers to meet higher STEM standards.
And the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and PBS are creating a series of new, engaging, and evidence-based media experiences across multiple platforms will be available for free to aid families and educators in helping children develop early STEM skills.
In addition to the public and private partnerships that are stepping up to the plate, federal agencies are deepening the resource and support they provide for early active STEM Learning. New actions being taken by the Obama Administration include, but are not limited to new research grants to improve early elementary science outcomes, as well as a new suite of STEM tip sheets and resources for families and early educators, just to name a few.
We are so incredibly grateful for these, and all the dozens of other businesses, philanthropies and local governments that have made Invest in US commitments aimed at exposing more children to crucial STEM learning experiences.
Invest in US commitments are doing something that is so critical for young children—forming a community that supports their early development and learning and, ultimately, their later success in school and life.
Together, we can advance the availability of high quality evidence-based early childhood programs that will literally change kids lives. And in doing so, we can create a better America for everyone. When we invest in them, we invest in US.
Learn more about the great STEM commitments at www.investinus.org/all-commitments.