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STEM for Early Learners: Professional Development Series

AEM's STEM for Early Learners series is a free 11-part professional development series aimed toward advancing instructional confidence and competence in directors, teachers, family child care providers, home visitors, early intervention specialists, and early childhood college students who work with children about 2.5 years of age through age five.

This series is a unique opportunity for early learning professionals to access high-quality, research-based materials and resources that will expand their confidence in providing young children with learning experiences that stress the use of their high-order thinking skills. 

Trainers at the community and state levels use AEM's materials for training and conferences; in early childhood, high school, college classes; and in early learning facilities. To make the content as compelling and easy to use as possible, each module is narrated by an early childhood STEM specialist who guides participants through activities.

Available Materials and Lessons

Each module features a comprehensive facilitator toolkit that includes a guide with objectives for each session, ideas on how to format each session, the preferred length of training, and specific materials needed for the topic. Each file includes a session guide, webinar recording, PowerPoint slides, master copies of class materials, and additional readings.

The adapted materials and lessons learned are divided into 11 modules:

  1. Introduction to STEM for Young Learners
  2. Creating Environments that Promote STEM Learning
  3. Science in Early Learning Environments
  4. Technology in Early Learning Environments
  5. Engineering in Early Learning Environments
  6. Mathematics in Early Learning Environments
  7. Putting it All Together - Logical Thinking and Coding
  8. STEM Outdoors
  9. Connecting Families Around STEM
  10. Building Community Partnerships Around STEM
  11. STEM Learning by Design


Instructions for use:

These materials were first developed in 2017 to support the Preschool Development Grant technical assistance (PDG-TA) program. By request, we have continued to make them available via the AEM website. To access the learning modules, please follow these steps:

  1. Access the linked files above
  2. Download the modules you wish to use to your computer (please note, this may take a few minutes as the files are large)
  3. Open the file and run the "story" file in Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge

If you would like consulting or ideas to strengthen your current plan to incorporate STEM in early childhood learning, please contact our team via

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