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Three Stratford School Educators to Present at Caltech Early Childhood STEM Conference

Saturday, Feb. 4

Published on Friday, February 3, 2017 | 12:23 pm

What does it take to teach children as young as preschool to learn coding? Stratford School educators will discuss these concepts and provide how-to take-aways for educators at the annual Early Childhood Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (ECSTEM) Conference February 3-4 in Pasadena.

Stratford educators will present at two sessions during the two-day conference. A presentation entitled “Art, Snack, Nap, then Coding,” will address the school’s balanced approach to teaching coding to preschool and kindergarten age students using play-based, plugged and unplugged activities. Presenters are Stratford School educators Allison Wilson, curriculum and training implementation specialist; and Vidya Janardhanan, computer science teacher. Candice Schreuders, senior director of operations for Stratford School in Southern California will speak on the topic of “Coding Made Simple” where she’ll discuss connecting education standards by teaching pre-coding skills to the school’s youngest learners. Stratford School, based in Saratoga, Calif., with 23 campuses in the Bay Area, Los Angeles and Orange County, pioneered an early learning STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) curriculum, which incorporates visual arts, language, music, and performing arts with science, technology, engineering, and math. Studies show that early learners excel at these skills when provided the opportunity and guidance to learn them. To do that, educators need resources and training to address these needs. In a newly released report called STEM Start Early conducted by The Joan Ganz Cooney
Center, early age STEAM programs work when they engage parents, support teachers, and connect learning. The study recommends transforming early childhood education and reprioritizing research on the subject in order to succeed. Key to success is using insights from communications science to build goodwill and understanding for early STEM learning.

The ECSTEM Conference welcomes more than 700 educators from across the United States. It is presented by The Children’s Center at Caltech. Organizers state that meeting the needs of an economically, ethnically, and socially diverse student population – especially for the youngest of learners – is challenging. To prepare today’s children for the challenges of tomorrow, it is increasingly important that they have developmentally appropriate curriculum, inclusive and culturally sensitive approaches in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

About Stratford School: Established in 1999, Stratford School is a leading independent private school founded on the belief that education is a significant influence in the life of a child. Stratford offers an accelerated curriculum from preschool through eighth grade with an emphasis in the areas of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) that incorporates music, physical education, foreign language, and social skills development. Stratford’s goal is to prepare and mentor students for admission to competitive high schools and colleges. All students are provided the necessary tools to excel, and are encouraged to participate actively in leadership, community service, and extracurricular activities. Visit for more information.

More information about the ECTEM conference may be found at

For more information on the Stem Start Early program, go to



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