1. Chih-Ing Lim
  2. https://fpg.unc.edu/profiles/chih-ing-lim
  3. Advanced Technical Assistance Specialist
  4. STEM Innovation for Inclusion in Early Education Center (STEMIE)
  5. https://stemie.fpg.unc.edu
  6. Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute - UNC
  1. Jessica Amsbary
  2. Postdoctoral Research Scholar
  3. STEM Innovation for Inclusion in Early Education Center (STEMIE)
  4. https://stemie.fpg.unc.edu
  5. Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute - UNC
  1. Julie Chin
  2. Education Technology Specialist
  3. STEM Innovation for Inclusion in Early Education Center (STEMIE)
  4. https://stemie.fpg.unc.edu
  5. Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute - UNC
  1. Megan Vinh
  2. https://fpg.unc.edu/profiles/megan-e-vinh
  3. Advanced Technical Assistance Specialist
  4. STEM Innovation for Inclusion in Early Education Center (STEMIE)
  5. https://stemie.fpg.unc.edu
  6. Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute - UNC
  1. Hsiu-Wen Yang
  2. Postdoctoral research associate
  3. STEM Innovation for Inclusion in Early Education Center (STEMIE)
  4. https://stemie.fpg.unc.edu
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Chih-Ing Lim

    Chih-Ing Lim

    Lead Presenter
    Advanced Technical Assistance Specialist
    May 4, 2020 | 11:48 a.m.

    Thank you for visiting our video! In the video, we share about the work of the STEM Innovation for Inclusion in Early Education Center (STEMIE, https://stemie.fpg.unc.edu ) which is funded by the Office of Special Education Programs, US Department of Education. STEMIE is a partnership between Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Marsico Institute at the University of Denver. Our project is focused on developing the evidence including instructional practices and learning trajectories to ensure all young children (birth to five) with and without disabilities can engage in early STEM learning opportunities in school and at home. We would love to hear about your experiences and expertise that relate to our goals for equity in STEM education for all young children. We hope to hear from all of our stakeholders including researchers, families, early STEM industry workers, policymakers, early educators, early intervention providers, administrators, funders, and anyone else who would like to contribute to the inclusion of all children in early STEM learning!

     

     

  • Icon for: Jacqueline Genovesi

    Jacqueline Genovesi

    Facilitator
    May 4, 2020 | 02:17 p.m.

    What an interesting and important project. There is such a wide array of disabilities both physical and learning that are barriers to STEM learning, especially when taught in a traditional classroom. A child with ASD has very different needs than say a child with dyslexia for example. I was wondering how are you addressing the diverse learning needs of the different disabilities? 

  • Icon for: Chih-Ing Lim

    Chih-Ing Lim

    Lead Presenter
    Advanced Technical Assistance Specialist
    May 4, 2020 | 04:50 p.m.

    Hi Jacqueline,

    Thank you for your interest in our work and the great question. Yes, you are right that there are so many types of disabilities. We are using existing inclusion frameworks and the Division for Early Childhood Recommended Practices to guide our work in order to ensure that young children with disabilities can participate and engage fully with STEM learning opportunities and experiences. We are working on ways to support practitioners individualize based on children's functional skills and needs rather than their disability diagnosis. When individualizing, the very first step is to consider changes to make to the environment, activities, and routines (e.g., room set-up, equipment, how an activity is done, length of time), and for some children, that may be the amount of support they need. However, for many other children, practitioners may also need to consider the materials (e.g., modifications to toys, materials, assistive technology devices), and finally for some children, instructional changes (e.g., adding information, reducing steps) may also be needed to ensure that they can engage in the STEM experiences alongside with their peers. I hope that helps and look forward to continuing the conversation with you, my co-presenters, and others! 

  • Icon for: Jacqueline Genovesi

    Jacqueline Genovesi

    Facilitator
    May 5, 2020 | 08:39 a.m.

     Thank you for explaining. I'm thinking of  new in-service teachers. How will this project help them ensure they are providing an inclusive classroom for STEM learning? I would love an example.

  • Icon for: Megan Vinh

    Megan Vinh

    Co-Presenter
    May 5, 2020 | 05:07 p.m.

    Hi! Thanks so much for engaging in these conversations with us. We are early on in our knowledge development work. We were in the early stages of working with incubator programs on co-creation around the learning trajectories work, including supports needed to effectively include children in STEM activities, when the COVID-19 pandemic began, so we do not have an example. However, we are working to ensure that we focus on the functional needs of children in a way that supports all practitioners, including preservice professionals and in-service professionals, with understanding how to effectively think through how to engage all learners, this would include thinking through how to set-up the environment, if the materials need to be adapted, or if the instruction needs to be modified. The learning trajectories model we are developing for science, technology, and engineering (connected to the already developed math learning trajectories), will provide goals, developmental progressions, activities, and videos that can be used in inservice and preservice professional development to ensure understanding of how to provide high-quality STEM experiences that promote learning of STEM practices, along with how to effectively ensure all learners are engaged and participating. We are also co-creating this work with practitioners, faculty, families, STEM and inclusion experts, while also gathering data on use within programs. This approach will help ensure we are providing information that can be easily and effectively implemented within programs by a variety of practitioners, including new inservice teachers. I'm hoping I answered your question and that others might chime in with what they are doing to support inclusion in STEM for new in-service teachers. 

  • Icon for: M. Clark

    M. Clark

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 5, 2020 | 09:34 a.m.

    Important and frequently left out group of young children.  These activities can increase self esteem and prepare these children for a richer elementary experiences

     

     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Jacqueline Genovesi
  • Icon for: Megan Vinh

    Megan Vinh

    Co-Presenter
    May 5, 2020 | 05:22 p.m.

    Hi! Thanks so much for engaging in the discussion with us. On our webpage, we share Five Things to Know About STEM Learning and Young Children. Within in these, we exemplify the points you are making about inequity in STEM. Specifically, that there is an opportunity gap and that children with developmental delays and disabilities are often denied the opportunity to learn STEM. We know children who live in poverty, children who are members of linguistic and ethnic minority groups, and children with disabilities have fewer opportunities to engage in STEM learning activities than their peers and that this opportunity gap continues to widen as children move through elementary, middle, and high school. The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights’ Civil Rights Data Collection (CDRC) also showed the disparity in STEM opportunities for older children with disabilities, namely that they represent only a very small percent of students enrolled in Biology, Algebra II, Chemistry, and Physics courses. I think your point is a good one because early STEM experiences have been shown to be a predictor of later school success. Personally, I think providing intentional early STEM experiences is a great way to promote belonging and engagement for young children with their peers. I hope that our work, along with the work of many others on this showcase, can truly show the importance of STEM for all.

     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Jacqueline Genovesi
  • May 5, 2020 | 01:42 p.m.

    Important work. Thanks for sharing.

  • Icon for: Megan Vinh

    Megan Vinh

    Co-Presenter
    May 5, 2020 | 05:09 p.m.

    Thanks, Sheryl! We really appreciate your interest!

  • Icon for: Abigail Levy

    Abigail Levy

    Facilitator
    May 5, 2020 | 03:01 p.m.

    Your work on early math learning is so important. I wondered if there are 1 or 2 take-aways from your work with early childhood educators that might resonate with parents of young children.

  • Icon for: Chih-Ing Lim

    Chih-Ing Lim

    Lead Presenter
    Advanced Technical Assistance Specialist
    May 5, 2020 | 05:23 p.m.

    Hi Abigail! Thanks so much for your question. I think there are many take-aways from our work that would resonate with parents of young children. I would point you to a resource on our webpage called, Five Things to Know About STEM Learning and Young Children. I think this provides five things that we think are critical related to STEMIE’s mission. However, I would add that I think two of our key findings (so far) are that:

    1. STEM experiences are all around us. We need to recognize the STEM experiences children naturally engage in and to be intentional about how we support and guide that interest. Finding ways to embed STEM within naturally occurring routines at home, such as bath time or mealtime, can be a great way to begin to be intentional and provide language around STEM. Here is a series that we just launched on using dialogic reading to promote STEM: https://stem4ec.ning.com/blog/introducing-stemie-s-storybook-conversations-series 
    2. STEM is for all children! It’s critical that we recognize that STEM is for all children and hold all children, including children with disabilities, to high-expectations. We have a blog post with a video clip just about the importance of providing opportunities for every child to develop to their fullest potential: https://stem4ec.ning.com/blog/perspectives-inclusion-right-from-the-start?edited=1
     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Scott Bellman
    Jacqueline Genovesi
  • Icon for: Patti Curtis

    Patti Curtis

    Robert Noyce/Ellen Lettvin STEM Education Fellow
    May 5, 2020 | 04:24 p.m.

    What is the time frame for all your anticipated tools & outcomes?

     

  • Icon for: Megan Vinh

    Megan Vinh

    Co-Presenter
    May 5, 2020 | 05:08 p.m.

    Hi Patti! Thanks for your interest in STEMIE. STEMIE is currently early in year two of a five-year cooperative agreement with the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP).  We are working on a variety of activities within this Center. And, will plan to share draft materials while we are piloting and testing. The learning trajectories work will take time to complete. We will begin testing activities and observing how children develop STEM practices within incubators when early care and education programs are open. We were planning to begin in March, but our plans have changed due to the current COVID-19 closures. However, we have altered our plans slightly and are beginning to work with practitioners to begin virtual “testing” and discussion of activities, so we are hopeful that the learning trajectories work will be shareable as a draft next year. However, it may not be final until the later stages of our Center as we will be collecting data to continuously improve usability and effectiveness. We have developed and curated other resources that can be found on our webpage: https://stemie.fpg.unc.edu. All that we do will be posted to this link. Similarly, you could join the STEMIE community and get updates periodically. Please let us know if you have more questions. Thanks again for your interest!

  • May 6, 2020 | 01:03 p.m.

    I am thinking how important this is, but also about how you are making the problem tractable. Are there some specific basic skills or practices that you are targeting for these young learners? Are they the same or different for different for science, technology, engineering and math learning in these early years?

  • Icon for: Chih-Ing Lim

    Chih-Ing Lim

    Lead Presenter
    Advanced Technical Assistance Specialist
    May 6, 2020 | 09:22 p.m.

    Hi Catherine, 

    Thanks for your questions. We are currently in the process of developing learning trajectories for science, technology, and engineering (connected to the math learning trajectories that were developed by our partners at the University of Denver, Doug Clements and Julie Sarama). These trajectories can help practitioners and other adults understand how children think and learn about STEM and at the same time, support progressions in child thinking and learning. We are still early on in our development. But we do know that some skills or child practices are cross-cutting (e.g., understanding cause and effect), and others are more specific to a particular STEM domain.

    For young children with disabilities, they can make progress in learning STEM and developing skills and practices just like their peers. For example, a child with a speech delay may require an augmentative communication device or visual cues in order to help her participate fully in STEM experiences so that she can develop specific practices. Feel free to check out our microlesson on learning trajectories: https://stemie.fpg.unc.edu/our-work/learning-trajectories   

  • Icon for: Becky Mazur

    Becky Mazur

    Research and Evaluation Specialist
    May 6, 2020 | 02:25 p.m.

    This is exciting -- thank you for doing this work! I wonder if, at some point down the line, public libraries could be a natural partner for some outreach? 

  • Icon for: Chih-Ing Lim

    Chih-Ing Lim

    Lead Presenter
    Advanced Technical Assistance Specialist
    May 6, 2020 | 09:25 p.m.

    Hi Becky, thank you for your interest! Our work is mostly focused on knowledge development, and providing technical assistance to practitioners and higher education faculty. However, there is definitely potential in partnering with libraries for outreach to families and also to serve as a resource to practitioners.

  • Icon for: Richard Ladner

    Richard Ladner

    Professor Emeritus
    May 6, 2020 | 02:51 p.m.

    This is a fascinating project.  Can you be more specific on what kinds of accommodations and strategies are being used for young children who are deaf.  This group is of special interest to me.  For example, are you using sign language for kids who are deaf?

    Thanks

  • Icon for: Chih-Ing Lim

    Chih-Ing Lim

    Lead Presenter
    Advanced Technical Assistance Specialist
    May 6, 2020 | 09:48 p.m.

    Hi Richard,

    We were in the early stages of working with incubator programs on co-creation around the learning trajectories development, including supports needed to effectively include children with disabilities in STEM activities, when the COVID-19 pandemic began. However, we are focused on supporting practitioners to consider children’s functional skills and needs first, then thinking through how to set up the environment, if the materials need to be adapted, or if the instruction needs to be modified. For children who are deaf, sign language, use of communication boards, or visual cues may be different adaptations to support their participation and engagement. We are about to engage virtually with practitioners across disciplines to co-create with us in terms of adaptations and strategies and will certainly have more to share later in the year! 

  • Icon for: Alison Billman

    Alison Billman

    Facilitator
    May 6, 2020 | 07:04 p.m.

    Thanks so much for sharing your work--I look forward to hearing more about it once you are able to get back to work with children in classrooms. Building the capacity for teachers and schools to provide opportunities for all students to engage with STEM activities is an important endeavor. Given the range of potential learning differences I wonder two things. 1) Are the learning trajectories that you are developing synonymous with learning progressions in the sense that they ordered by conceptual complexity? 2) STEM explorations--particularly in early childhood--are often sensory rich. Children are touching, smelling, and listening to investigate. What strategies are you testing for supporting children with sensory integration issues or children who have been identified as autistic? 

  • Icon for: Megan Vinh

    Megan Vinh

    Co-Presenter
    May 7, 2020 | 01:53 p.m.

    Hi Alison,

    Thanks so much for your question! I wanted to make sure I responded to both questions, so I’m going to list my answers.

    • We are using learning trajectories as the overarching framework that includes three main components: goals, developmental progressions, and activities/experiences that help children work toward each goal. So, we are seeing developmental progressions and learning progressions as similar concepts. For more, information, please see this microlesson: https://stemie.fpg.unc.edu/our-work/learning-trajectories. This microlesson is still in field testing, so it may eventually change. But, it should provide more information on developmental progressions.
    • We are working on using a functional approach when thinking about how we effectively support children with disabilities versus a disability specific approach. We hope to help practitioners to individualize their approaches based on children’s strengths and needs and not just focus on the disability label since there can be a lot of variability. With that in mind, we are researching and creating supports to help practitioners to think about the children they serve and focus on how they can engage each and every child they work with, including children with sensory integration issues and children with autism. This approach asks practitioners to think about how they change their environment, materials, and/or instruction. This connects with research on evidence-based practices for supporting children with disabilities and the Division for Early Childhood’s (DEC) Recommended Practices.

    We sometimes talk about our Center as a marriage between STEM and inclusion experts around a common goal of ensuring all children have access and opportunities to engage in high-quality STEM. We also have experts that focus on inclusion broadly across the age span (0-5), inclusion for children with significant disabilities, inclusion for children with autism, etc. Thanks again for your interest!

  • Icon for: Sarah Powell

    Sarah Powell

    Researcher
    May 6, 2020 | 09:52 p.m.

    I'm very excited about your project. We've been focused on improving early mathematics in preschool settings. We're using math-focused read alouds used by both the classroom educator and the caregiver at home. Our focus is on learning the language of mathematics and early mathematics concepts. Have you been using read alouds or storybooks in some of your research?

  • Icon for: Megan Vinh

    Megan Vinh

    Co-Presenter
    May 7, 2020 | 02:08 p.m.

    Hi Sarah! 

    Thanks so much for your question! Yes, we think this is really important. We haven’t been able to begin our work with the incubators yet given the current pandemic. However, we plan to find ways to support the integration of STEM experiences within naturally occurring routines, activities, and play. We think books are a great way to incorporate intentional discussion and language related to STEM. Here is a series we are doing on dialogic reading that promotes STEM: https://stem4ec.ning.com/blog/introducing-stemie-s-storybook-conversations-series. We are looking to collaborate and add to our series on dialogic reading and would love any resources, research, information, etc that people are willing to share.

  • Icon for: Marley Jarvis

    Marley Jarvis

    Outreach and Education Specialist
    May 7, 2020 | 03:12 p.m.

    What important work, thank you! Like yourselves, I think a lot about supporting STEM learning for all young children, and the importance of starting early. In addition to preschoolers, do you have suggestions for supporting infants and toddlers more specifically?

  • Icon for: Chih-Ing Lim

    Chih-Ing Lim

    Lead Presenter
    Advanced Technical Assistance Specialist
    May 7, 2020 | 05:19 p.m.

    Hi Marley,

     Thank you! We are still in the early stages of developing supports for infants and toddlers.  When we started our work last year, we did a scoping review and found really scant research and evidence on infants /toddlers and STEM and also on children with disabilities and STEM learning https://stemie.fpg.unc.edu/what-do-we-know-about-stem-learning-young-children-ages-birth-five-years-disabilities . While there is little research, we know people are doing innovative work and so we hope to co-create with multiple experts and practitioners.

    We are using learning trajectories as the overarching framework that includes three main components: goals, developmental progressions, and activities/experiences that help children work toward each goal. These tracjectories will be going from birth to age five. For more, information, please see this microlesson: https://stemie.fpg.unc.edu/our-work/learning-trajectories

    In order to build these trajectories, we are using multiple sources of evidence: 1) existing evidence including research and state early learning guidelines, 2) STEM and inclusion experts, 3) doing rapid cycles of testing of STEM learning in homes and classrooms through our incubator sites, which we haven’t been able to do so because of the current pandemic, and 4) co-creating with cross-disciplinary practitioners who serve infants and toddlers with disabilities. We will definitely have more information later in the year!

  • Icon for: Marley Jarvis

    Marley Jarvis

    Outreach and Education Specialist
    May 7, 2020 | 07:52 p.m.

    Thanks so much for sharing those resources. And no kidding - 2.9% of sources on infants and toddlers is definitely scant! Yikes. Out of those studies that make up the 2.9%, are there any that stand out to you as particularly helpful that you would be willing to share?

  • Icon for: Chih-Ing Lim

    Chih-Ing Lim

    Lead Presenter
    Advanced Technical Assistance Specialist
    May 8, 2020 | 10:49 a.m.

    Yes, we will be happy to share any that stands out. 

  • Icon for: Marley Jarvis

    Marley Jarvis

    Outreach and Education Specialist
    May 8, 2020 | 08:34 p.m.

    That would be wonderful - my email is jarvisma@uw.edu and I'm happy to continue the conversation. Thanks for your great and important work!

  • Icon for: Chih-Ing Lim

    Chih-Ing Lim

    Lead Presenter
    Advanced Technical Assistance Specialist
    May 9, 2020 | 02:04 p.m.

    Sounds good! 

  • May 8, 2020 | 12:13 p.m.

    I look forward to hearing more about your project and its outcomes in the future. Such an important area of work. In DO-IT we primarily work with high school and older students; by then I wonder how many students with disabilities may have already developed a negative attitude about pursuing STEM. Good to hear about researchers and practitioners working with younger students.

  • Icon for: Chih-Ing Lim

    Chih-Ing Lim

    Lead Presenter
    Advanced Technical Assistance Specialist
    May 8, 2020 | 03:08 p.m.

    Thank you so much, Sheryl. I enjoyed learning about Do-It too and am wowed by your work that has been sustained for so many years. Yes, we do wonder too about how negative attitudes may have formed even before children go into elementary schools. While we do not have the research about children's perceived attitude about STEM, based on research on other underrepresented populations in STEM, we can probably hypothesize that their confidence and opportunities lagged behind early on. 

    One of our activities on STEMIE is also to help people reframe their attitudes and beliefs to ensure all children are held to the highest expectation. We have a video of a middle schooler, Alex who shared his experiences about others' perceptions of his ability and how that had impacted his confidence in math. Although we are targeting much younger kids, Alex's story is still so critical for all adults working with children with disabilities to hear  https://stem4ec.ning.com/blog/perspectives-inclusion-right-from-the-start?edited=1

    We are hoping to curate more of those stories and narratives from families and people with disabilities about their early childhood STEM experiences. I'm wondering if some of your DO-IT scholars past and present might be interested to share their experiences?

  • Icon for: Catherine Stimac

    Catherine Stimac

    Executive Producer, Education Productions
    May 8, 2020 | 02:39 p.m.

    Look forward to hearing more as your project continues. Thoughtful work you are doing. Thank you.

  • Icon for: Chih-Ing Lim

    Chih-Ing Lim

    Lead Presenter
    Advanced Technical Assistance Specialist
    May 8, 2020 | 03:09 p.m.

    Thanks, Catherine. I appreciate your interest and excitement for our work! 

  • Icon for: Perrin Chick

    Perrin Chick

    STEM Education Specialist
    May 9, 2020 | 06:28 a.m.

    I really appreciated watching your video. I would love to know more about your blended learning professional development strategies. How do you support educators as they learn to better engage youth in STEM?

  • Icon for: Chih-Ing Lim

    Chih-Ing Lim

    Lead Presenter
    Advanced Technical Assistance Specialist
    May 11, 2020 | 09:51 a.m.

    Hi Perrin,

    Thank you for viewing our video. Our blended learning professional development strategies include using 1) learner activity data from e-Learning. This activity data is different from what you can typically get from LMS and goes deeper as the variables are customized based on the learning objectives and specifications of the project, 2) using the data we collect from e-Learning to tailor the next phases of work (i.e., webinars / communities of practice, and on-site face to face professional development. We are currently still building the knowledge, so we have not begun designing and development. However, you can learn more from this blog post that our instructional design strategist had authored using a similar strategy for another project at FPG: https://learningsolutionsmag.com/articles/blended-learning-strategy-trifecta-covid-19-quarantine-approach

  • May 9, 2020 | 11:55 a.m.

    Hi STEMIE team, Nice to see you here and congratulations on a very clear, well-organized presentation describing your important work!

  • Icon for: Chih-Ing Lim

    Chih-Ing Lim

    Lead Presenter
    Advanced Technical Assistance Specialist
    May 11, 2020 | 09:52 a.m.

    Hi Cindy, nice to see you here too. thanks for coming to view our video. We will be in touch soon again about your work on computational thinking. 

  • Icon for: Viviana Vazquez

    Viviana Vazquez

    May 12, 2020 | 01:24 a.m.

    Thank you fo all that you are doing to help all of these children participate and get engaged in the STEM field especially at a young age, wonderful work! 

  • Icon for: Chih-Ing Lim

    Chih-Ing Lim

    Lead Presenter
    Advanced Technical Assistance Specialist
    May 12, 2020 | 01:29 p.m.

    You are welcome, Viviana. Thanks for taking time to visit our video. 

  • May 12, 2020 | 09:50 a.m.

    This is important work to break down barriers to bring STEM for all children. We need those differently-abled to be part of all facets of STEM, especially engineering where innovations are being designed for people to transcend any ability barriers they have to having healthy and productive lives and in the workplace. Thank you for sharing this project.

  • May 12, 2020 | 06:52 p.m.

    Addressing the problem of STEM learning for children with developmental delays in early-aged children, especially from infants and toddlers to 5 years olds is relatively new I think. Great work and approach. It would be great to see particular lesson activities that are being designed by the researchers of this work for such interventions.   

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