developer's notes*

Curricular Framework.
The parallel use of "The Creative Curriculum for Preschool" (Dodge, Heroman, Colker, Bickart, Copley, et al.) and "The Project Approach" (Katz and Chard) frameworks was selected for the preschool curriculum implementation attempted in the current study. The Creative Curriculum was selected since it is a fully integrated framework with a long history, is broadly known and used, and is nationally acknowledged to support active learning and to support children’s progress in all necessary developmental areas. The Project Approach was selected to complement the Creative Curriculum since not only is it already proposed by its developers to be used complementary to other preschool curriculum frameworks. Furthermore it pefectly suits the design-based nature of the P2E engineering focused project.
Content and Storyboard.
The curriculum consists of 24 lesson plans. It addresses science, technology, engineering, and math concepts and practices, all integrated within one developmentally-appropriate engineering design project. The theme of the design project was “Let’s build a city,” and it was presented to the children through two gender-neutral puppets, Sam and Andy that the teacher is using. At the outset of the design project, the children were asked to work on the following scenario:

“Sam had some dolls and some cars and other toys in a doll house. Sam threw a birthday party and now there are more dolls, cars, and other toys, so the doll house is not big enough. Sam now has four dolls, three cars, one dog and one ball. Sam is discussing this situation with Andy, who is an engineer, about new ideas.”
Using Puppets.
Using puppets to present content in a preschool class is a teaching method with a long and well established history. For centuries puppets have been used to enrich all areas of early education curricula, by creating great stimuli and making young children’s connection to the world exciting. The names Sam and Andy and the design of the puppets are deliberately selected to be gender neutral, in order to avoid associating a specific gender to the engineering profession and to allow the children to create their own story reality in their minds.
Classroom Schedule.
The STEM content was designed to be addressed in class during teacher-led large group (LG) time, followed by children-led small group (SG) time. The STEM content addressed during LG time was presented through the use of The Creative Curriculum framework. The Project Approach (PA) was used during SG time to complement The Creative Curriculum (CC)

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*As presented in Bagiati. A. (2012) Early Engineering - A Developmentally Apropriate Curriculum for Young Children. PhD Dissertation. School of Engineering Educatin- Purdue University