Supports for Preschool STEM Learners and the Teachers Who Teach Them

Presenter: Kimberly Brenneman
A collaboration between researchers and educators, the SciMath-DLL project involves the design, development, and testing of a professional development model that integrates supports for dual language learners with high-quality math and science instruction. In this session, the presenter describes the evidence that supports SciMath-DLL, engages participants in hands-on activities that illustrate the project’s approach to professional development, and leads an interactive discussion of challenges to, and promising solutions for, implementation of effective, research-based practice.

Kimberly Brenneman, Director, Early Childhood STEM Lab; Assistant Research Professor, National Institute for Early Education Research, Rutgers University
Kimberly Brenneman’s work focuses on ways to improve instructional practices that support STEM learning in preschool classrooms. She collaborates on research projects that involve preschool curriculum development, professional development for teachers, assessment, and the creation of authentic home-school connections around STEM learning. Her SciMath-DLL project involves the design, development, and preliminary testing of an innovative professional development model and related resources that integrate supports for dual-language learners (DLLs) with high-quality math and science instruction. Funded by the NSF, SciMath-DLL is a collaboration with the Elizabeth, Long Branch, and Union City, NJ, school districts. With colleagues from Tufts University, University of Miami, and University of Northern Iowa, Brenneman co-directs Readiness through Integrative Science and Engineering (RISE), an effort to improve school readiness for DLLs by designing and testing resources for preschool teachers to strengthen connections between home and school, and to foster positive approaches to learning through hands-on science, technology, and engineering content. Brenneman is co-author of Preschool Pathways to Science (PrePS): Facilitating Scientific Ways of Thinking, Talking, Doing, and Understanding, a curriculum planning framework for educators to guide and facilitate their efforts to incorporate more science into their curricula. She also is a credited educational advisor for The Jim Henson Company's Sid the Science Kid television show and website, and authored the PBS Kids blog, The Learning Lab, which brings research-based ideas and activities for fostering children’s science learning to teachers and parents. Brenneman received her PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles.