Today's Paper Newsletters Cooking Obits LEARNS Guide Classifieds Podcasts Tablet Help Sports Jobs Contact us Puzzles Public Notices

WATCH: Head Start program encourages students to enjoy science

by John Anderson | November 30, 2020 at 4:00 a.m.
From left, pre-K students Aalayah Jordon, Marshon Williams and Liy’ric Foote participate in STEAM activities. - Photo by John Anderson of The Sentinel-Record

Hot Springs Head Start, 401 Garden St., wants to encourage students to enjoy the wonderment of science through its new STEAM program.

Dennis Plyler, STEAM consultant, said the program is the brainchild of Leslie Paschal Barnes, executive director of the Community Services Office. Barnes wanted to start a STEAM, or Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math, program to help young scientists delve into the wonderment of science.

"She's provided the guidance and the support and this is a result of her efforts," he said.

Plyler said, to paraphrase Barnes, "they didn't stop making geniuses, so we need to find them." That was "our directive," he said, to develop a program to encourage students to enjoy the wonderment of science.

The program is trying to create an "immersion of science for young scientists" to deal with the concept that everything is made of particles.

The program allows them to have "meaningful play, and so that we can deliver kind of a stealth instructional payload, so that they're having a lot of fun, but they're also learning some science," Plyler said.

"One of the biggest ways that children in pre-K learn is they learn through play. ... We're always trying to teach them and give them the education that they need for that head start in life," said Michelle Gomez, STEAM mentor.

"With this STEAM program, we are laying the foundation for the progression of learning, and giving them that head start, so when they go into upper-level classes, they're ready (and) they have some exposure," she said.

The STEAM program was developed to Arkansas K-12 Science Standards, which were developed in line with the Next Generation Science Standards.

"We develop our labs according (to) the Next Generation Science Standards ... and that guides us so that we're following ... the progression of learning. We started the learning point that will follow them throughout their science courses," Plyler said.


Sponsor Content