Storybooks and STEM: Using Books as a Tool to Support Early Childhood Family STEM Learning
Children’s storybooks are a ubiquitous learning resource, and one with huge potential to support STEM learning. They also continue to be a primary way that children learn about the world and engage in conversations with family members, even as the use of other media and technology increases. Especially before children learn to read, storybooks create the context for in-depth learning conversations with parents and other adults, which are the central drivers of STEM learning and development more broadly at this age. Although there is a body of literature highlighting the benefits of storybooks for children’s learning in classrooms and clinal laboratory settings, less work has been done to understand their potential for informal STEM learning contexts. This session will share findings from recent studies exploring the use of storybooks with preschool-age children (3 to 5 years) and their families in these settings, including afterschool programs, museums and science centers, and home-based family programs. The session will begin with results from a national survey of researchers and educators using children’s books to support STEM engagement and learning in early childhood, followed by findings from three specific projects exploring this topic.
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