Several Western Pennsylvania Programs Included in White House Early-Childhood STEM Initiatives
The Fred Rogers Company and the Grable Foundation are among several regional organizations committed to promoting STEM education for the youngest learners.
characters of the “odd squad”/photo courtesy of pbs kids programs
The White House has announced several new public and private initiatives to support teaching young children about science, technology, engineering and math – more commonly referred to as STEM subjects.
Several Pittsburgh organizations are among them:
- The Heising-Simons Foundation will establish a partnership with The Fred Rogers Company to support the production of 25 episodes of "Odd Squad," a math-focused television show on PBS Kids, and create accompanying games and apps. They will also hold free summer math camps in 14 U.S. cities serving more than 400 children.
- Also, The Fred Rogers Company, in partnership with the Allegheny Intermediate Unit’s Head Start and Math and Science Collaborative, the University of Pittsburgh’s Collaborative for Evaluation and Assessment Capacity, and Rockman, with funding from the National Science Foundation, leads the Peg + Cat Early Learning of Math Through Media (ELM2) Project. ELM2 is expected to reach 80 educators and 1,500 children and families in Head Start programs.
- The Grable Foundation will invest $1 million to encourage early STEM learning through the development of robust, hands-on activities for young children; for early educators to incorporate technology into their practice; and for the early learning field to move forward in its understanding of the constructive role STEM topics can play for young learners.
- The Frazier School District is committed to launching new STEM initiatives for the 2016–17 school year, including revisiting their curriculum, resources and instructional strategies to ensure a 21st-century pedagogical perspective.
The White House and the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services also recognized dozens of organizations which submitted information about their programs in support of President Obama's goal to support every child in early STEM learning. They included:
- The Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh
- The Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Children