Children are Curious

Children are curious. They seek answers, notice patterns and see the world as new and amazing. As educators, we walk alongside children on their journey to make sense of the world around them. Where do we start? How do we decide what to teach? The children themselves guide us. Watch a young child experiencing the natural world and take time to notice what interests them. The sound of rain on the window, the mud puddle, the rabbit in the grass, the flowers in the field, the clouds in the sky, and pebbles on the path all hold wonder.

These experiences are a place to begin. In addition, the Environmental Literacy Guidelines (ELG), Indiana Science Content Standards and the Indiana After School STEM Speciality Standards reinforce and aid in framing learning opportunities so they are both appropriate, meaningful and appealing. Children are capable of so much! Beginning with concrete concepts in the youngers grades helps them gain content knowledge and sets them up for successful abstract thinking as they take on new experiences and real life problems.

The Content Standards, After School Standards and ELG focus on information, processes, systems, skill development, curiosity and questioning so youth learn, experience and discover while connecting with the natural world. In addition, these resources help educators speak a common language as they learn alongside other educators and the children they serve. Join a child on their learning journey, begin with experiences that engage and seek out these resources and share with other educators what is working for you. Let’s learn together and stay curious!

Vera Vander Kooy, Executive Director – The STEM Connection



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2018 Awards

-SYPF Grant recipient 2016, 2017, 2018

-River-Friendly Farmer Award from the local Soil and Water Conservation District. This award recognizes farmers who, through good protection management practices, kelp keep Indiana’s rivers, lakes and streams clean.

-2018 McKinney Family Foundation Scholarship award recipient to attend Fundraising and Advocacy for Environmental Nonprofits offered by The Fund Raising School

IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy

2017 Awards

-Joe Wright Recognition of Excellence Award by the Environmental Educators Association of Indiana

-Hoosier Chapter Soil And Water Conservation Society’s Education and Communications award for 2017!

-SYPF grant recipient 2016, 2017

-Intern, Madeline Anderson – 2017 Excellence in Summer Service Education Award Recipient


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