fab labs

Fab labs to launch in early childhood programs

Teaching Institute for Excellence in STEM will develop early childhood fab labs in Head Start programs

Teaching Institute for Excellence in STEM (TIES), a developer of digital fabrication laboratories (fab labs) and STEM curriculum and school design, has been named a partner in the Federal government’s new Early Education STEM initiative.

TIES is among a group of leaders who participated in April’s Early Learning Symposium hosted by The White House, in partnership with the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services and Invest in US. The event highlighted the importance of promoting active STEM learning for our youngest children and to celebrate a broad range of public- and private-sector leaders committed to promoting STEM learning across the country.

In March 2016, The Bay Area Discovery Museum, in partnership with TIES and FableVision, launched the world’s first Fab Lab for young learners (ages 3 to 10) to help them navigate the design process from concept to production, and turn their ideas into reality.

Building on this work, TIES has made a commitment to bring early childhood Fab Labs to schools, daycares, museums and other settings serving the country’s youngest learners. As part of this initiative, TIES, in partnership with The Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology (ICAT) at Virginia Tech, will prototype these labs in two Head Start programs with the intent to build a scalable model that will enable all Head Starts throughout the country to have early childhood Fab Labs.

“As we build STEM programs in K through 12 schools, it’s critical that we look at the continuum of learning,” said Jan Morrison, TIES president and CEO. “Research shows that preschool-aged children are predisposed to developing inquiry skills, reasoning and early traits of problem solving during their day-to-day curiosity and interaction with objects.”

Early childhood Fab Labs offer a creative, safe and supportive spaces that provide children with tools and mentoring that promotes a mindset to shape and tinker in order to change the world around them.

Laura Ascione

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