A New Year for ECHOS

A week before children headed back to school, Head Start teachers were already getting re-energized for ECHOS at the first workshop of the year. The Museum’s Early Childhood Hands-On Science (ECHOS) initiative, in collaboration with the University of Miami’s Department of Psychology, is a comprehensive science curriculum and teacher professional development program being tested in 90 Head Start classrooms throughout Miami-Dade County. The project is funded by a grant from the US Department of Education’s Institute for Education Sciences. In ECHOS, children learn all about rain, birds, bees, plants, shells, blocks, water, air and magnets. And teachers learn effective ways to encourage scientific thinking in children, like wondering, observing, making predictions, doing experiments, and most importantly, asking questions! This ECHOS pre-service workshop focused on the idea of “productive questioning” and how to encourage scientific and creative thinking in young children. During the workshop, teachers experimented with some lessons and received new and updated lesson materials, which even included some “echoes” of their feedback from the previous year of implementation. Three more teacher training workshops are scheduled throughout the school year, in between lots of opportunities to use the science lessons and materials in the classroom.

Teachers explored simple science activities to learn how to engage children in science through productive questioning.

Teachers got picture cards with instructions to mingle and fit all cards into a big picture - just like each teacher is a part of the big ECHOS picture.





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