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Peer-reviewed article

Head Start on Engineering: Teachers, Informal STEM Educators, and Learning Researchers Collaborating to Engage Low-Income Families With Engineering

October 16, 2017 | Public Programs, Informal/Formal Connections
The Head Start on Engineering project engages parents and children in a multicomponent family engineering program that includes professional development for teachers, workshops for parents, take-home family activity kits, home visits, classroom extensions, and a culminating field trip to a science center. Throughout their lives, children from low socioeconomic backgrounds and traditionally underserved and under-resourced communities face significant barriers to engaging with engineering and science (Gershenson 2013; Orr, Ramirez, and Ohland 2011). Supporting learning and interest development in early childhood, and engaging families, preschools, and community stakeholders in this process, is a powerful way to address these issues and a critical economic investment to ensure children become productive members of their communities (Garcia et al. 2016). Although not often a focus of early childhood education, engineering and problem-solving skills are increasingly recognized as essential for children and adults to thrive in today’s society and are a growing part of the K–12 curriculum (NGSS Lead States 2013). Introducing families to the topic of engineering and sparking young children’s interest in planning, building, testing, and problem solving helps prepare them for school and life.


  • 2013 06 21 IMG 0768
    Institute for Learning Innovation
  • 2015 03 12 IMG 20130207 112101
    University of Notre Dame
  • IVEL
    Fleet Science Center
  • Pam Greenough Corrie
    Mt. Hood Community College Head Start Program
  • REVISE logo
    Oregon Museum of Science and Industry
  • 2014 02 25 Shannon
    Oregon Museum of Science and Industry
  • Veronica Nunez
    Oregon Museum of Science and Industry
  • Smirla Ramos Montanez
    Oregon Museum of Science and Industry
  • Citation

    ISSN : 2475-8779
    Publication Name: Connected Science Learning
    Volume: 4


    Funding Program: AISL
    Award Number: 1515628
    Resource Type: Research Products
    Discipline: Engineering
    Audience: Pre-K Children (0-5) | Families | Parents/Caregivers | Educators/Teachers | Museum/ISE Professionals | Learning Researchers
    Environment Type: Public Programs | Museum and Science Center Programs | Informal/Formal Connections | Pre-K/Early Childhood Programs
    Access and Inclusion: Low Socioeconomic Status

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