Research shows that children who have opportunities to explore science at an early age have greater STEM success later in life. In fact, about half of eighth graders who are interested in science go on to science-related careers. Yet most elementary-age children get little, if any, time for science, and when they do, they’re reading about science and not doing science. It’s not surprising then, that students’ interest in science drops significantly by the time they reach middle school.
The Coalition for Elementary Science at EDC is changing that. Since 2018, the Coalition has been working to ensure that all young learners in New England have frequent and high-quality science instruction in their elementary classrooms. Coalition leaders also work at the national level to advance knowledge of effective elementary science education and wider STEM education policy and practice.
The Coalition is carrying out the following activities:
- Lead a 2020 summit that will support principals in creating strategic plans to improve science education in their elementary schools
- Collaborate with STEM leaders nationwide to raise awareness of the importance of elementary science education and STEM learning
- Produce resources to advance knowledge of strategies to close early science learning opportunity gaps
- Work directly with stakeholders throughout New England to accelerate efforts to improve elementary science education
1. The Coalition:
- Comprises over 200 STEM business leaders, teachers, principals, researchers, philanthropists, and advocates from all six New England states
- Co-led the 2019 forum with the MetroWest STEM Education Network, which engaged over 100 policymakers and educators in exploring strategies to strengthen elementary science education in Massachusetts
- Led EDC’s first Elementary Science Summit in November 2018, engaging 100 participants in creating action plans to improve elementary science education in their states
2. The Coalition leaders facilitated the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy State-Federal STEM Education Summit, convening 200 STEM leaders from all 50 states, U.S. territories, and tribes and producing the State-Federal STEM Education Summit report.
Council of State Science Supervisors, Connecticut Science Center, Colantonio, Metrowest STEM Education Network, Maine Department of Education, Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Wade Institute for Science Education, Partners in Progress