Sharpening Our Focus on Equity: Reflections from the Storybook STEM Project

Scott Pattison and Gina Svarovsky
Pattison, Scott, and Gina Svarovsky. “Sharpening Our Focus on Equity: Reflections from the Storybook STEM Project.” |, 15 Jan. 2021.

The Storybook STEM project began from a relatively simple premise. With support from the National ScienceFoundation (#1902536) and TERC, our goal was to synthesize knowledge about how children’s books can support STEM engagement and learning for preschool-age children and their families, especially in out-of-school contexts. A large body of literature has established the importance of children’s books for early literacy and other aspects of child development (Canfield et al., 2020; Common Sense Media, 2013; Dowdall et al., 2020; Mol & Bus, 2011). And many projects inside and outside of the classroom have already incorporated books as part of STEM curriculum and programs (see below). In our own work through the Head Start on Engineering project (NSF #1515628), we have seen the power of children’s books for creating shared learning experience with parents and children, providing compelling contexts for engineering design challenges, and more (Pattison et al., 2019). Our hope was that by bringing stakeholders together and synthesizing past research and project findings, we could identify shared lessons learned and provide recommendations for future work.