Science learning at any age involves curiosity, exploration, and discovery. These come naturally to most infants and toddlers. At the Demonstration School and all of the Early Head Start programs we serve in our community, we promote an inquiry-based learning approach that is guided by an investigation or questions posed by children. Teachers observe children closely to know where their interests lie and together develop research questions.
At our United Way Center for Excellence in Early Education, Demonstration School, we serve 116 children ages 0 – 5 years old in a mixed-income model environment. Some of our children are full pay, and some are subsidized by Early Head Start, Head Start or VPK. This type of set-up provides us with the unique opportunity to see if what we are doing at the Demonstration School is changing the odds for children. In a study prepared by Bellwether Education, 357 children throughout Miami-Dade County were assessed on their science competence with a tool developed by Dr. Greenfield and his team at the University of Miami called Lens on Science. The results show that Demonstration School children in the Head Start program do better than other Head Start children in the county.