Starting today, two of NGPM’s three co-PIs will be attending Head Start’s 12th National Research Conference on Early Childhood. Christine Zanchi and Ashley Lewis-Presser are looking forward to contributing thoughts and perspectives from nearly three years of work on NGPM at Tuesday’s poster symposium on Innovations in Early Childhood STEM Curriculum and Professional Development! See all the details here!

Ashley Lewis-Presser talking with conference attendees about NGPM.

Ashley Lewis-Presser talking with conference attendees about NGPM.

It was definitely a day of celebration as some of the NGPM team visited the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Nurtury Learning Lab in Jamaica Plain, MA. Check out the video from the Boston Herald!

The Mayor of Boston also attended, stating, “All children should have access to the best learning and school readiness opportunities we can provide. The Nurtury Learning Lab at Bromley-Heath is a great example of a service that will greatly impact children’s lives and start them on a path for success.”

The NGPM team brought our subitizing and equipartitioning games so that children could play and learn in their new media room at the Nurtury. What an inspiring play time!

Children clapped at their subitizing successes!

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We got to watch children think and observe teachers doing what they do best!

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And we promised that we’d bring the iPads back the next time we came…

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It was a beautiful and symbolic day for our children’s education!

See more photos of the event from the Jamaica Plain News.

Last week NGPM Executive Producer Christine Zanchi attended the Fred Forward Conference, a national conference hosted by the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media in Pittsburgh, PA.

Invigorated by the conference, Christine says, “I think it’s awesome that the industry is turning its attention to research as a critical part in the development of children’s media — especially from where we stand as public media. We really care about true educational impact, and iterative design-based research gets us there.”

Economist James Heckman has spent decades studying and documenting the lasting benefits of high-quality education for children in their earliest years. He is a strong advocate for investment in programs that foster early cognitive and social development as a means for reducing inequity and increasing productivity across the country. The link between the increase of high-quality education in early childhood and the reduction of inequality seems so clear that he calls it the Heckman Equation.

Just a few days ago, the prestigious journal Science published his research team’s latest findings. The work follows up on the Carolina Abecedarian Project (ABC), which was started over 40 years ago to explore the impact of high-quality early care and education. From infancy to age five, participants received high-quality, full-day care and education, including topics on health and nutrition. The study followed up at five later points in time spanning older childhood and early adulthood.

The results show significant positive differences in health-related behaviors and outcomes for those who attended the ABC program three decades later, as compared to age-mates also tracked by the study but who did not receive such education.

Many of us have few, if any, specific memories of our own formative years — the period of life during which the intervention took place. Yet, experiences between infancy and age five stuck with the children and continued to shape their health-related decisions as they entered kindergarten, grade-school, and adulthood, and beyond, resulting in lower risks for common diseases and therefore lower health-care needs. 

That’s the power of getting off to the right start!

The NGPM team also feels strongly about investing in high-quality early education for every child, and we’re happy to have the opportunity to research how to best do this in our technology-infused world!

Next Generation Preschool Math will provide an example of what research and public media are doing for early learning through digital media at the New America Foundation’s event “Beyond Screen Time: Early Learning and Digital Media.”

The event itself is an “afternoon of moderated discussion, innovative exhibits and networking that explore a world beyond ‘screen time,’ recognizing technology as more than an electronic babysitter and pushing for high standards in how it is used.”

Check out the Beyond Screen Time video!

When life gives you lemons…there’s bound to be some sort of opportunity for greater learning and meaning attached.

In the case of NGPM’s Lemonade Stand, preschoolers learn principles of equipartitioning while divvying up ice cubes into cups, which they then fill with lemonade to serve to their friends.

This game encourages kinesthetic learning, and has children tilting and moving the iPads as they learn valuable lessons on math and sharing.

Note: We are currently in the Beta stages of building, but expect the games to be made available to the world soon!

The NGPM Breakfast Time app has children eating math skills right up!

The breakfast-themed game makes equipartitioning, or equal sharing, palatable for preschoolers. With a pinch of math, a sprinkling of fun, and an iPad-sized plate of whole-grain waffles, NGPM’s Breakfast Time creates a recipe for learning. 

Note: We are currently in the Beta stages of building, but expect the games to be made available to the world soon!

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