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
 

March 18, 2015
7:30-9:00 PM
Instructor: Sandra McKinnon
Delivery: Live Online
This session will emphasize children's need for physical activity, explore nature's benefits for children, and highlight free resources plus additional learning opportunities to enhance outdoor experiences for adults and young children.

 
March 28, 2015
8:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Instructor: Cindy Thompson
Location: Hartman Reserve Interpretive Center, 657 Reserve Drive, Cedar Falls
This workshop leads you out the door and provides hands on activities and resource materials to help you lead your own nature explorations. Growing Up WILD activities use age appropriate practices and concepts to build on children’s sense of wonder and invites them to explore nature and the world around them. Specially written for children 3-7, activities include sections to address many learning areas: math, science, language, literacy, health living, play, and creativity. 

 
April 11, 2015
9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Instructor: Kim Brantner
Location: Adair County Extension Office, Greenfield
This workshop leads you out the door and provides hands on activities and resource materials to help you lead your own nature explorations. Growing Up WILD activities use age appropriate practices and concepts to build on children’s sense of wonder and invites them to explore nature and the world around them. Specially written for children 3-7, activities include sections to address many learning areas: math, science, language, literacy, health living, play, and creativity. 

 
April 11, 2015
8:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Instructor: Cindy Thompson
Location: Luther College, Decorah
This workshop leads you out the door and provides hands on activities and resource materials to help you lead your own nature explorations. Growing Up WILD activities use age appropriate practices and concepts to build on children’s sense of wonder and invites them to explore nature and the world around them. Specially written for children 3-7, activities include sections to address many learning areas: math, science, language, literacy, health living, play, and creativity. 

 
April 11, 2015
9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Instructor: Sandra McKinnon
Location: Waubonsie State Park, Hamburg
Children truly must move in order to learn well, and adults need practical strategies for developing purposeful movement experiences that work in indoor and outdoor settings.

 
April 25, 2015
9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Reconnecting Children with Nature: Growing Up WILD
Instructor: Kim Brantner
Location: East Lake Park
This workshop leads you out the door and provides hands on activities and resource materials to help you lead your own nature explorations. Growing Up WILD activities use age appropriate practices and concepts to build on children’s sense of wonder and invites them to explore nature and the world around them. Specially written for children 3-7, activities include sections to address many learning areas: math, science, language, literacy, health living, play, and creativity. 

 

May 9, 2015
8:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Instructors: Malisa Rader & Erin Ford
Location: Webster County Conservation Nature Center, 1415 Nelson Ave., Fort Dodge, IA
This workshop leads you out the door and provides hands on activities and resource materials to help you lead your own nature explorations. Growing Up WILD activities use age appropriate practices and concepts to build on children’s sense of wonder and invites them to explore nature and the world around them. Specially written for children 3-7, activities include sections to address many learning areas: math, science, language, literacy, health living, play, and creativity. 

 
May 16, 2015
6:30 AM - 9:30 PM
Instructor: Sandra McKinnon
Location: Willow Lake Recreation Area, Woodbine
Gain engaging strategies for documenting infant and toddler learning, and tips on choosing natural
materials that meet the unique needs of infants and toddlers.

 
June 4, 2015
1:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Instructor: Sandra McKinnon
Location: Ann Wickman Child Development Center, Atlantic
Discover effective ways to facilitate meaningful infant and toddler learning experiences inspired by nature. Gain positive solutions for addressing some of the challenges of working with very young children outdoors. 
Many practical ideas for helping infants and toddlers grow up with a sense of wonder will be shared.

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