Creating Outdoor STEM Spaces: A Community Comes Together
Presented by: Worcester Child Development Head Start
Strand: Early Education
Outdoor spaces are often underutilized environments in early childhood settings. While quality of outdoor spaces may vary across programs, there are low cost, creative ways in which all outdoor environments can be improved. This exhibit will highlight the theme of this year’s Summit, “Progress Through Partnership”, by sharing examples of creative STEM-related improvements made to an outdoor early childhood courtyard and explain how community collaboration made those improvements possible. Participants visiting this exhibit will be able to view a video of the transformation of this outdoor space from start to finish. They will be able to meet with Head Start staff and community representatives to discuss the community collaboration from the grant application process to the fulfillment of the renovations. Information about local community partners will be shared. Materials used to design the space will be on display for participants to browse through, including books related to Sidewalk Math and designing high quality outdoor environments. Participants will also be able to explore hands-on examples of the STEM materials used in the courtyard which include balls and ramps, innovative waterways, rock building collections, and creative sand walls. Assessment tools, booklists, and child friendly vocabulary words will be shared with participants.