What it is:
ELM and five partners co-created STEM kits to promote culturally specific, SIMPLE and developmentally appropriate ways to engage in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math with young children. Together, we developed kits for seven culturally specific communities in six languages.

Why it’s important:
The kits are designed to engage children and family’s Curiosity in five key categories: Explore, Compare, Count, Shapes and Create.  Each everyday activity builds early STEM skills and vocabulary and prepares children for success in kindergarten. More importantly, each version of the kit is an authentic reflection of the African American, Arabic, Latino, Native American, Russian (Slavic), Somali, and Vietnamese cultures,  showcasing children representative of each along with elevating prominent women and people of color working in STEM careers within each community.

How it works:
ELM and its partners distributed the kits through culturally specific organizations, and included STEM related swag items such as seeds, magnifying glasses and notepads.

So far, 4,000 kits have been distributed to families to help their children build early STEM skills. Thousands of kits have also been distributed in Washington County through the Early Learning Washington County hub.

What’s next:
In partnership with Portland Metro STEM Partnership and a generous sub-award grant through Umpqua Valley STEM, Early Learning Multnomah is excited to announce we will be able to continue supporting STEM in the early learning world in 2020.  We are working with our culturally based partner organizations to thoughtfully plan how this will look and roll out to the community; but may include reproduction of STEM kits that serve families with children aged 0-6 years, re-branding, incorporating more culturally relevant and inclusive tools, professional development workshops for ECE providers and tools for parents and caregivers.  Please stay tuned for updated information.  Please contact Frances Sallah if you desire further information. 

Download the STEM kits: