ChildCare Education Institute Offers No-Cost Online Course on Outdoor STEAM Activities and Project Based Learning
ChildCare Education Institute (CCEI), an online child care training provider dedicated exclusively to the early care and education workforce, offers CUR118: Outdoor STEAM Activities and Project Based Learning as a no-cost trial course to new CCEI users.
Many studies document the benefits of spending time outdoors. Some studies cite benefits ranging from reduced stress to improved memory and immunity. Other studies show that spending time outdoors leads to better mental health and vision. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tells us that the rate of childhood obesity has doubled in the last 30 years. The increased use of technology and television viewing are 2 of the major barriers to participating in outdoor activities. In addition, a recent study conducted by the National Recreation and Park Association found that:
- Spending 20 to 30 minutes outside reduces stress levels.
- 58% of U.S. adults spend more than 30 minutes outdoors daily.
- Only 1 in 3 U.S. adults spend more than an hour outdoors daily.
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At the same time, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the number of jobs in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) related fields are expected to grow by 8% by 2029, compared with 3.7% for all occupations. Some of these jobs will focus on the outdoors and the environment, but others will be in front of a computer or in a lab, classroom, office, or factory. These interconnected areas of learning have transformed the way we live and work, from agriculture to manufacturing, medicine to education, travel to communication, and even shopping.
Early childhood educators are uniquely positioned to create a balance between indoor and outdoor experiences. Teachers can begin to prepare children for the jobs of the future by inspiring curiosity and instilling a love of learning. At the same time, they have the opportunity to help children establish healthy habits and an appreciation of the great outdoors.
This course explores how teachers can enhance outdoor learning experiences by integrating STEAM activities and project based learning. The course provides a wide variety of project ideas that are sure to engage and fascinate young learners.
“Through this course, ECE professionals will learn ways that they can explore outdoor STEAM-related activities using a project based approach as a way to promote the development of important 21st-century skills,” says Maria C. Taylor, President and CEO of CCEI. “STEAM represents a large portion of the career opportunities that today′s children will grow up to pursue.”
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