Building STEAM: Early Connections to Nature & Science

Early connections to nature and support for the scientist, techie, engineer, artist and mathematician in every child

 

Nature Explore

Nature Explore

Nature Explore workshops are an exciting opportunity for early childhood professionals who wish to transform their preschool or child care play spaces into fun, joyful areas to explore nature.

Educator workshops include:
  • Using Your Outdoor Classroom
  • Learning with Nature
  • Documenting Children’s Learning with Nature
  • We Dig Dirt
  • Wonder-filled Beginnings
  • Moving to Learn
  • The Importance of Visual-Spatial Learning
  • Music and Nature
  • The Arts and Nature
  • Nature Inspired Indoor Environments
  • Choosing Effective Indoor and Outdoor Material

Credit: 3 hours of professional development credit approved by Department of Human Services for each workshop.

ISU Extension and Outreach partners with Nature Explore to offer this program. Nature Explore is a collaborative project of Arbor Day Foundation and Dimensions Educational Research Foundation. Visit Nature Explore to learn more about Nature Explore Family Resources and Certified Classrooms.

Ready to Learn?
Find and register for workshops on the Iowa Child Care Provider Training Registry. Click on Search Trainings and type in Nature Explore in the title search box. If you don't see a workshop scheduled in your area, or if registration is already full, please contact Kristi Cooper, (319) 560-6048.

 

Growing Up WildGrowing Up WILD

Growing Up WILD is an early childhood education program for professionals teaching and caring for young children, ages 3-7. ISU Extension and Outreach partners with Iowa Department of Natural Resources and local county conservation programs to offer this program.

The 4-hour training program teaches early childhood professionals how to build and nurture children’s sense of wonder about nature, wildlife and the great outdoors!

Participants receive a Growing Up WILD: Exploring Nature with Young Children Activity Guide featuring:

  • 27 nature-based themes— new and exciting activities every week!
  • Crafts, art, music, movement, math, reading activities, and “take me outside” events
  • Snack ideas, take-home family activities, materials list, and suggested resources
  • Social, emotional, physical, language and cognitive domains
  • Correlations to NAEYC, Iowa Learning Standards & Head Start Domains

Credit: 4 hours of professional development credit is approved by Department of Human Services for each workshop.

Ready to Learn?
Find and register for workshops on the Iowa Child Care Provider Training Registry. Click on Search Trainings and type in Reconnecting in the title search box. If you don't see a workshop scheduled in your area or if registration is already full, please contact Malisa Rader, (515) 708-0622 or Karmin Klingenberg, (641) 747-2200.

Growing Up WILD is an award winning national program of the Council for Environment Education, a non-profit organization. For more information, visit their website.

 

Eco-Healthy Child Care® ONLINEEco-Healthy Child Care

Child care providers working for healthier children and a happier earth!

Eco-Healthy Child Care® is a national program that ensures child care settings are as happy, healthy, safe and green as possible by reducing children’s exposure to toxics. Early childhood professionals can make small changes that have a BIG IMPACT on the health of young children.

ISU Extension & Outreach offers a fun ONLINE workshop series with great resources!

  • Eco-Healthy Child Care® - Indoor (session 1)
    A closer look at your indoor environment related to toxins including furniture & carpets, household chemicals, air quality, radon, and asbestos.
  • Eco-Healthy Child Care® - Outdoor (session 2)
    A closer look at your outdoor environment related to toxins including pesticides, treated playground equipment, recycling and garbage
  • Eco-Healthy Child Care® - Materials (session 3)
    A closer look at the materials used in your program related to toxins including plastics, art, lead and mercury.

Credit: 4.5 hours of professional development credit is approved by Department of Human Services for the online workshop series.

Ready to Learn?
Visit our Early Learning Online Training/humansciences/el-online website to find upcoming classes. For more information about ISU Eco-Healthy Child Care® classes, contact Malisa Rader, (515) 708-0622.
 

Classes

Other Nature & Science Classes
 
Aug. 29, 2015
9:00-12:00
Instructor: Malisa Rader
Location: Lime Creek Nature Center, Mason City
This interactive workshop emphasizes the need for children to have consistent time outdoors with an interested, caring adult. The group discusses some of the common barriers to preschool and elementary children's ability to create positive connections with the natural world and what parents and educators can do to counteract them. Discover engaging and practical hands-on ideas that can be infused throughout all areas of the curriculum to support the nature-child connection. This workshop will also provide a multitude of resource ideas to help you incorporate nature into both outdoor and indoor classrooms.

 
Aug. 29, 2015
1:00-4:00 pm
Instructor: Malisa Rader
Location: Lime Creek Nature Center, Mason City
This workshop will help you discover how to help children express their knowledge and personal interpretation of the world in more meaningful ways. The Look-Move-Build-Sketch planning model is designed to help educators create multi-faceted art experiences. This approach encourages children to work in many modes, reminding both teachers and learners (especially those with sensory integration challenges) of the many ways to experience new ideas and concepts. The projects explored during this workshop are inspired by nature and serve as another way to help children make deeper connections with the natural world.

 
Sept. 16, 23, 30, 2015
1:00-2:30 pm
Instructor: Malisa Rader  Kristi Cooper, Mackenzie Johnson, Joy Rouse, Sandra McKinnon, Cindy Thompson
Location: Online
Research increasingly shows that the first few years of life are extremely important in shaping a child's future health and development. Since children spend significant periods of time in child care facilities, limiting exposures to environmental health threats in these settings is essential. Child care administrators can get their team on board to make small changes that make a big impact on the children in their care. Eco-Healthy Child Care® helps early childhood learning environments to be as healthy, safe, and green as possible by reducing exposure to toxins.

 
October 10, 2015
8:30 am–12:30 pm
Instructor: Cindy Thompson and Angie Aue (Buchanan County Conservation)
Location: Fontana Interpretative Nature Center, Hazleton
This early childhood education program builds on children's sense of wonder.  It provides an early foundation for developing positive impressions about nature and lifelong social and academic skills.

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