Data Modeling with Young Learners and Their Families
Fifty children ages 5-8 and their adult caregivers, from underrepresented New York City populations, participate in a 6-week workshop series offering playful, hands-on, collaborative exploration of foundational concepts of modeling and analyzing data.
There is a growing need for citizens to be able to work with data and consider how data is represented. This work employs a design, make, play framework to create data modeling learning experiences for young children and their caregivers in an informal setting. The project will develop and test a curriculum for a workshop series for 5-8 year old children to engage them in playful exploration of data modelling. Children will engage in data collection, data representation and data analysis drawing their own experiences of the world. The curriculum will support developing children's interest and engagement with data, a foundational concept for a range of STEM careers and disciplines. This work will provide a model for similar learning experiences in data modeling and representation. This project will advance efforts of the Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program to better understand and promote practices that increase students' motivations and capacities to pursue careers in fields of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM).
The project is grounded in a theoretical framework for young children's learning that focus on playful exploration, design, and building on children's own experiences and questions. The research questions examine how the curriculum needs to be designed to support multi-age groups of children in data modeling, engagement in data modeling by younger (ages 5-6) and older (ages 7-8) children, and evidence of increased in active approaches to learning about STEM. The design and development project will test and investigate the materials using a design-based research framework. The children should increase their confidence in solve problems, in taking initiative and in drawing on available resources to pursue their own questions and respond to novel challenges. Data to be collected include interviews with participants, artifacts of children's work during the activity, and an observational instrument to document problem solving, persistence, and engagement.