When the first ideas for the vision of Kiddie University Capitol Hill were discussed, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) was at the forefront as a major component of our curriculum. There were not many early childhood educational centers that incorporate STEM as a curricular component, and we wanted to be one of the first. Gardening is a fundamental STEM concept that is appropriate for children or adults of any age.
Our idea for the garden is to incorporate it as a learning tool that provides multi sensory learning experiences and to give our children a strong foundation in basic STEM concepts. Here are just a few of the ways that we intend to use gardening to support STEM-based learning in our classrooms:
Science: Children will have opportunities to feel the textures of different plant and vegetable leaves, help water plants, and learn a variety of basic science concepts.
Technology: Teachers will discuss with children how garden tools and other basic items are the technology we use to create the gardens.
Engineering: Building and planting a garden is great engineering and design practice. we will involve the kids as early as the planning process. Children will have the opportunity to discuss garden location, while considering the amount of sunlight, proper drainage, and other important factors that affect how gardens grow.
Mathematics: Counting, size, shape, proportion, fractions, multiplication, etc. are all math topics that children can learn while gardening. For example, children will count how many tomatoes are on a vine or how many seeds are being planted.
We will be planting a variety of fruits and vegetables.
With the help of Kiddie University parent Mrs. Sarah Dachos, we will begin creating the Learning Garden next week. We would also like to get other parents involved. If you are available to join us on next Friday May 13th @ 2:00pm to kick off our Learning Garden, please let us know. We would love any additional help and expertise.
Thank you for your continued support and dedication to our program.