Conference on the Young Years




March 9, 2018

Missouri Early Childhood Teachers Inspiring Future STEM Stars

The only thing better than visiting Tan-Tar-A resort at Lake of the Ozarks is sharing the experience with 1,700 early childhood teachers from Missouri who are crazy about STEM. The last time I got the privilege to keynote the Conference on the Young Years was back in Spring of 2006 when STEM was called science education and STEAM was something that powered trains from long ago. Today, the STEM / STEAM movement is full speed ahead and Missouri’s Department of Education is leading the way.

Today’s keynote was titled “Best Day Ever” and it focuses on strategies to better connect and engage with our students in order to create those unforgettable learning experiences for our youngest minds. As educators, our paramount goal should be to foster curiosity and provide opportunities for our young learners to wonder, discover and explore the world. When a child looks into the eyes of a teacher and says, “This was the best day ever,” they’re telling us that we did more than just another hands-on activity… we created an experience. And experiences have a powerful way of affecting our thoughts and behaviors around the STEM skills of science, technology, engineering and math.

It wouldn’t be a Spangler experience if we didn’t turn the keynote into an experience-based adventure as participants used our Energy Stick to become human conductors of electricity.
Engage. Connect. Experience. When teachers focus on these core principles, we open a child’s mind to a future filled with opportunity.

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