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Welcome! Thanks for learning more about our October 24th STEAM Conference.

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The SIUE Early Childhood Center and the Early Childhood Education Program in the School of Education, Health and Human Behavior in partnership with Children’s Home & Aid Society Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR+R) are proud to present our first annual STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) conference for educators of young children at the SIUE Morris University Center Friday, October 24th, 2014. 

The conference features keynote speaker Dr. Lilian Katz, multiple workshop sessions, closing remarks by children’s author Jennifer Ward, followed by a tour of the SIUE Early Childhood Center, networking reception and book signing.

Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) began in this decade as STEM, a major focus in education to promote scientific innovation. With the addition of A for the arts, STEAM integrates the arts in the STEM curriculum to allow children to apply their academic skills in ways that support intellectual development, creativity, innovation and problem solving.

The interdisciplinary nature of the STEAM conference will stimulate new ways of collaborating. Our hope is that area educators will begin to build relationships with faculty outside the School of Education, Health and Human Behavior and to take advantage of all SIUE has to offer. STEAM is gaining momentum as educators realize the importance of introducing concepts when children are young and eager to explore them.

We agree that STEAM education MUST begin in early childhood.  Join us in the initiative to foster children's innate STEAM concepts -- creativity, exploration, and critical thinking -- during the years that matter most.   

Schedule for the Day 
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8:00-9:00              Registration & coffee/tea

9:00-9:15              Welcome and Overview of the day

9:15-10:15            Keynote address by Dr. Lilian Katz

10:30-11:30          Breakout Session 1

11:30-12:00          Poster session

12:00-12:45          Box Lunch

1:00-2:00              Breakout Session 2

2:15-3:15              Breakout Session 3

3:30-4:15              Closing Remarks with Jennifer Ward

4:30-6:30              Tour of Early Childhood Center, Book signing and light reception

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Keynote Speaker

Lilian Katz is a Professor Emerita of early childhood education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she is also principal investigator for the Illinois Early Learning Project, a contributor to the Early Childhood and Parenting Collaborative, and editor of the first on-line peer-reviewed early-childhood journal, Early Childhood Research & Practice. She was born and raised in England and received her Ph.D. in Child Development from Stanford University in 1968. She has lectured in all 50 states and in 56 countries.

Katz is a past president of the National Association for the Education of Young Children and was Director of the ERIC Clearinghouse on Elementary & Early Childhood Education for over 30 years. She is the author of more than 150 publications, including articles, chapters, and books about early childhood education, teacher education, child development, and parenting. She founded two journals: Early Childhood Research Quarterly and Early Childhood Research & Practice, which began publication in early 1999 as the first peer-reviewed, internet-only journal in early education. She is currently chair of the editorial board of the International Journal of the Early Years published in the United Kingdom. She continues to lecture internationally, providing thought-provoking, sometimes humorous, and always enlightening perspectives for her audiences.

Dr. Katz will address the challenges facing early childhood educators regarding science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics (STEAM) education. She will discuss some distinctions between academic and intellectual goals and their implications for early childhood pedagogy. She will also discuss effective approaches to providing STEAM experiences for young children.

Featured Presenter

Diana McMillan earned her Master’s in Early Childhood and is a National Board Certified Teacher.  She has been a member of the Building BLOCKS for Science Research group to investigate what four year old children know and can do in science. This was a collaborative grant with The National Science Foundation and The University of Texas Center for Science and Mathematics Education under the direction of Dr. Mary Hobbs, Dr. Robert Williams, and Dr. Elizabeth Sherwood.  She has been a member of Techno Scientist for the last four years. She has presented trainings for Austin ISD, Region IX, Region XIII, and Region XX, CAST, NAEYC, and TAEYC.  She was awarded Teacher of the Year in 2014 and won The Mirabeau B. Lamar Award of Excellence.

Diana will be presenting Digital Technology in the Hands of Children! twice. These sessions will focus on children using technology throughout the day for exploration and documentation of their experiences. See how young children use sound recording tools, digital microscopes, digital cameras, and iPads to see their world in new and exciting ways. Diana will demonstrate the use of digital tools and share a multitude of examples of children's work.

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Break Out Sessions

*Participants will select one workshop for each breakout session when you register.

 

DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY IN THE HANDS OF CHILDREN

Description: Learn about how young children use sound recording tools, digital microscopes, digital cameras, and iPads to see their world in new and exciting ways. Diana will demonstrate the use of digital tools and share a multitude of examples of children's work.

Presenter: Diana McMillian, National Board Certified Teacher, Austin Public Schools

 

CHANGING ROCKS FROM SCENERY TO SUBJECT

Rocks and minerals are a major part of the environment that young students live and play in but they often go unnoticed during explorations. In this workshop, we will look at several age-appropriate methods of engaging early elementary children in geology.

Presenter:  Colin Wilson, Resource Center Manager, STEM Research Center, SIUE (20 max)

 

STORYBOOK MATH 

Math is everywhere. What better way to engage children in open-ended mathematical thinking than through the stories that they love to hear? And of course, don't forget the hands-on materials that go along with them.

Presenter: Dr. Martha LaTorre, Associate Professor, Early Childhood Program Director, SIUE

 

BRINGING NATURE INTO THE CLASSROOM

There is growing evidence that connecting children with nature has a positive impact on their health, education, and well-being. We can't always spend enough time outside. This hands-on session will give you many ideas for bringing nature into your classroom in active and meaningful ways.

Presenter: Lydia Toth, Senior Manager, Education Shaw Nature Reserve/Missouri Botanical Gardens

 

STEAM CURRICULUM & THE RELATIONSHIP TO THE OUTDOOR LEARNING ENVIRONMENT

This session will support educators in developing the bridge between STEAM curriculum, playground design and activities.   Participants will move from theory to practice to develop their outdoor spaces as meaningful places for learning. Inspiring minds need to know.

Presenter: Sara Kreiss, President of Spaces For Play, INC- educational design consultant creating over 1000+ play environments for early childhood settings.   sara@spacesforplay.com

 

IN STEAM EDUCATION, A IS FOR ARTS

Life-long teachers and learners have to be open to educational changes that foster children’s growth and learning. This workshop explores integrating the visual and performing arts into traditional curriculum. According to current research, Arts integration supports academic success for children who struggle in traditional classrooms, because it provides them with a variety of ways to show what they know.

Presenter: Dr. Amy Freshwater, Associate Professor, Early Childhood Education, Southeast Missouri State University and St. Louis Community College at Meramec

 

PROJECT APPROACH WITH DR. LILIAN KATZ

Dr. Katz will discuss the value of project work and engaged learning in early education. She will share examples of project work that show children exploring their world through deep investigations.

Presenter:  Lilian Katz, Ph.D., Professor Emerita of early childhood education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

 

ENGINEERING IS CHILD’S PLAY 

Description:  New to engineering? This engineering session features work and play with balls, ramps, and other materials familiar to early childhood educators. Learn how you can bring engineering into your classroom and connect the experiences to the Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards and the Illinois K-12 Learning Standards.

Presenters: Dr. Stephan Marlette, Associate Professor, Science Educator and Elementary Education Program Director, SIUE and SIUE Teacher Candidates.

 

USING NATURE AND THE ARTS TO ENGAGE CHILDREN, EXPAND THINKING, AND PROMOTE WELL-BEING 

This workshop gives insight to what can happen when the outdoor environment is incorporated within a classroom. Exploration, design, wonderment, observation, and tactile experiences can happen on a daily basis with natural materials. Its focus will also be on the attributes of natural materials as manipulatives versus plastic materials as manipulatives.

Presenters: Stephanie Henschen & Amber Larson SIUE Early Childhood Center Teachers, Dr. Elizabeth Sherwood, Associate Professor, Curriculum & Instruction, SIUE

 

MATERIALS EXPLORATION: A FRAMEWORK FOR STEAMWORK

Description: Participants will have the opportunity to explore art media. We will use this hands-on group learning experience to examine STEAM principles and standards in action.

Presenters: Dr. Sangsook Park, Associate Professor School of Art & Design Art Education Program & Dr. Shelly Goebl-Parker, Associate Professor, School of Art & Design Art Therapy Program, SIUE

 

EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION AND SUSTAINABILITY A PERFECT PARTNERSHIP

The children in early childhood classrooms today will be young adults in 2030. Given how quickly the world is changing, educators often wonder how well their current practices prepare children for the future. Learn about the big ideas of sustainability and how to incorporate them into your work with young children.

Presenter:   Connie Frey Spurlock, Associate Professor Sociology & Criminal Justice Studies, Sustainability Fellow, SIUE

 

CLOSING REMARKS WITH CHILDREN'S AUTHOR JENNIFER WARD

Jennifer Ward, a veteran nature writer, is the award-winning author of more than twenty books for children and parents, including the popular parenting book "I Love Dirt! 52 Activities to Help Connect You and Your Kids Discover the Wonders of Nature" (Foreword by Richard Louv) and, "Mama Built a Little Nest", a picture book illustrated by Caldecott honoree Steve Jenkins featuring the variety of architecture found in bird nests across the globe. 

 

Jennifer writes full-time from her home in Edwardsville, Illinois, where she maintains several acres of old growth oak forest and a creek, home to an abundance of wildlife.  Her writing process involves a lot of exploration, discovery, thinking, reading and creativity. For this, she considers herself rich.  www.jenniferwardbooks.com

 

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CLOSING REMARKS WITH CHILDREN'S AUTHOR JENNIFER WARD

Jennifer Ward, a veteran nature writer, is the award-winning author of more than twenty books for children and parents, including the popular parenting book "I Love Dirt! 52 Activities to Help Connect You and Your Kids Discover the Wonders of Nature" (Foreword by Richard Louv) and, "Mama Built a Little Nest", a picture book illustrated by Caldecott honoree Steve Jenkins featuring the variety of architecture found in bird nests across the globe. 

Jennifer writes full-time from her home in Edwardsville, Illinois, where she maintains several acres of old growth oak forest and a creek, home to an abundance of wildlife.  Her writing process involves a lot of exploration, discovery, thinking, reading and creativity. For this, she considers herself rich.  www.jenniferwardbooks.com

Projects, Fabulous Failures and a Life Rich with Wonder

At the age of five, Jennifer Ward embarked on a project:  construct a simple bird's nest using dried grasses gathered from her yard, just as birds in the wild do.  She had little luck with this architectural feat.  At age six, she attempted to catch wild birds by sprinkling salt on their tails. To no avail.  Regardless of her early failures with birding, Jennifer became hooked on nature's offerings. Taking time to observe and appreciate the world outdoors, combined with a passion for books and writing, has turned into a project of life-long learning, one which Jennifer translates into her books for children and adults

SIUE Early Childhood Center Tour, Book Signing, and Reception

 

Conference participants will have the opportunity to tour the Early Childhood Center, located on the beautiful campus of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. The SIUE ECC provides full-day, year round early childhood care and education for the children of students, faculty, staff, and community members who are ages two through five.

 

The Early Childhood Center recognizes the potential of each child and the vital contributions parents make to the Center community. Our philosophy is strongly influenced by the Reggio Emilia Approach. Our work with children and families is grounded in our commitments to nurturing trusting relationships. We are devoted to growing a deeply connected community that allows intellectual and emotional risk-taking. We emphasize a joyful, playful climate with a culture of intellectual inquiry and critical thinking.

 

The ECC is licensed by through the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), has earned a 4 Star Rating from the Illinois Quality Rating System, Gold Circle through the Excelerate Illinois program, and is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). 

 

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Illinois Quality Rating System

4 STAR Center

Excelerate Illinois

Gold Circle
(Assessment Path)

Accredited by the National Association for the Education for Young Children

 

Book Signing

Participants will have an opportunity to purchase and have books signing by the following conference speakers.

Author

Books

Dr. Lilian Katz

 

Dr. Elizabeth Sherwood

 

Jennifer Ward

 

Registration

$35 (includes resources materials, light breakfast and lunch)

* A limited number of SIUE School of Education, Health and Human Behavior undergraduate students will be offered free   registration. Priority will be given to student volunteers and Early Childhood majors. There are no refunds available.

Participation Credit

Participants are eligible to receive either of the following for participation in the event:

 CEU- 5 training hours or 5 DCFS clock hours

Additional Resources

In addition to presenters listed above, these organizations will be present at the conference to share with you the resources they have available to help bring STEAM education to your practice.

  • SIUE School of Education, Health, and Human Behavior Early Childhood undergraduate and graduate program options.
  • Children’s Home & Aid Child Care Resources & Referral Program
  • Glen Carbon Public Library
  • Spaces for Play
  • SIUE STEM Center
  • Missouri Botanical Gardens/Shaw Nature Reserve
  • Watershed Nature Center

Thank You Sponsors and Supporters

Meridian Society

SIUE Early Childhood Center

SIUE School of Education, Health and Human Behavior

SIUE Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

SIUE STEM Center
Morris University Center Marketing Team
SIUE Conferences and Events

and to Andrew Petro!

Directions and Parking

The event will be held on the 2nd floor of the Morris University Center.  Parking in Lot B.

http://www.siue.edu/maps/tour/parking.shtml

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