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PNC grant supports STEM education

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

FREDERICK, Md.—Hood College recently received a grant from the PNC Foundation in support of The Curiosity Academies Project.

Hood College, in collaboration with Frederick County Public Libraries and the Judy Center preschools at Title I Frederick County Public Schools, will offer STEM Curiosity Academies, where preschoolers will learn basic concepts of science, technology, engineering and math through play, with particular emphasis on engineering.

Early childhood education professor Marisel Torres-Crespo will train librarians and Judy Center staff to replicate the academy in their own environments and incorporate STEM concepts into their preschooler programming. In exchange, the partner agencies will hold at least seven academies for at-risk preschoolers by August 2015.

Each 10-day academy will serve 20 participants who will collaboratively resolve a series of problematic situations. A daily newsletter to parents will include vocabulary, a description of that day's project, the name of book that was read aloud and suggestions on how parents can incorporate STEM practice with their children into everyday life.

The first academy was piloted by Hood College's Onica Prall Laboratory School in summer 2013.