HOUSTON--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--In 2014-15, Waco Independent School District (ISD) implemented STEMscopes™ Early Explorer district-wide in its preschool program. By the end of the school year, teachers reported spending an average of 36 minutes per day on STEM instruction, compared to two minutes a day before STEMscopes. In a follow-up study, which analyzed the performance of all kindergartners the following year, the data showed that compared to other students, those who had participated in Waco ISD’s prekindergarten program had significantly higher science scores at the beginning of kindergarten and they maintained this advantage throughout the school year.
“Across the board, our kindergarten teachers say it’s obvious which children used STEMscopes Early Explorer in prekindergarten and which did not. STEMscopes gives our preK students a strong foundation in science — and because kids love the Early Explorer activities, they love the science.”
In 2015-16, all kindergarteners in the district were assessed using the CLI Engage science and engineering assessment, which is scored on a scale of 24 points. After controlling for demographic variables, all students grew an average of 1.14 points during the school year. Students who participated in Waco ISD’s prekindergarten program and received instruction through STEMscopes Early Explorer, however, had an advantage of an additional 0.78 points, beginning and ending the year at higher achievement levels than their peers.
“In Waco ISD, we have a very strong prekindergarten program and STEMscopes Early Explorer makes it even richer,” said Dr. Mary Konrad, early childhood education coordinator for Waco ISD. “Across the board, our kindergarten teachers say it’s obvious which children used STEMscopes Early Explorer in prekindergarten and which did not. STEMscopes gives our preK students a strong foundation in science — and because kids love the Early Explorer activities, they love the science.”
Developed by Accelerate Learning™ and Rice University, STEMscopes Early Explorer is designed to support students ages 3 to 5. It is built from the ground up to Head Start, state and national prekindergarten and kindergarten guidelines, and is scaffolded to prepare students for Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in kindergarten.
“Science isn’t typically an area of strength for many early childhood teachers, but STEMscopes Early Explorer includes teacher materials, videos and other resources that make it easy to integrate science into their daily lessons,” said Konrad.
For more information, visit http://acceleratelearning.com or call toll-free 800-531-0864.