The Early Learning Coalition of North Florida focused on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) programs this past spring. Coalition outreach staff have launched a new science-themed program focusing specifically on air and wind.
Preschoolers investigated the science behind what the air is and what makes the wind. The outreach team dressed in lab coats and goggles and put on an interactive program featuring many science experiments that help explain these concepts.
The children were captivated by the experiences of “keeping the ping pong ball in the air with a hair dryer” and “putting the paper towel in water without getting it wet”, according to the outreach team.
Balloons were used to demonstrate the air, and bursting a confetti balloon was a big hit. Children waved scarves like sailboats to music and blew up their own windmills. Students also learned about tornadoes and then made their own “tornadoes” in bottles to take home.
Each child received a book titled “Wind” by Erin Edison, and teachers received a large bag of science resources to further teach this theme in the classroom.
In March, the coalition held a competition in which preschool classes submitted photos of science projects they had completed. Prizes were awarded to the three best projects. The winner was Island Prep west of St. Augustine’s pre-K class, with its “Bees” project.
“Focusing on STEAM promotes problem solving and thinking skills,” says Joan Whitson, coalition outreach manager. “Getting kids excited about science at an early age leads to greater interest later on.”
To learn more about the Early Learning Coalition of North Florida, visit elcnorthflorida.org.