Family Learning Opportunities in Engineering and Science

Amanda M. Gunning, Meghan E. Marrero, Zoila Morell

Abstract


Students who are of low socio-economic status or English language learners do not have the same opportunities to learn science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). These students are the future citizenry and need the tools a good STEM education can provide to, not only make decisions for themselves and their families, but for their communities and our world. Our study in the United States examined how working with English- and Spanish-speaking kindergarteners and their parents in science and engineering sessions provided the opportunity for these low-income families to do science and engineering activities together. We found the experiences helped students learn more about science, scientific practices, and developed science self-efficacy in parents, who changed the way they talked about everyday science with their children.  The model of educating children and parents together, using their home languages, to promote STEM learning, builds upon the important work in this field.


Keywords


Elementary science; family learning; bilingual; ELL; engineering; STEM; science education

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