Readiness Learning Associates at White House Early Learning Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Symposium

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The White House hosted the first Early Learning STEM Symposium highlighting the importance of providing quality STEM learning for our nation's youngest learners. Ms. Draper, Executive Director, Readiness Learning Associates, and key STEM experts and leaders celebrated a broad range of public and private commitments.

Building on the President’s Early Learning and “Educate to Innovate” agendas, the White House, working with the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services, held the Early Learning STEM Symposium, Thursday, April 21, 2016, to advance focus on STEM experiences by identifying research gaps, best practices, and education technologies to support our youngest learners, parents and caregivers, educators and community leaders with early STEM education.

The Obama Administration announced Thursday*, new research grants and funding opportunities while recognizing Readiness Learning Associates for their commitment to support early educator preparation. Working with California State Universities and other higher ed institutions to provide STEM professional development, Readiness Learning Associates, has long been a supporter of early STEM learning, working to improve state and local school systems.

"We know that by providing as many three-dimensional learning opportunities for young children fosters their habits of inquiry and problem solving needed for science, technology, engineering and mathematics," said Draper. "Asking, imagining, creating, designing, testing are what young children do naturally. Giving them a supportive, loving environment to do this, strengthens communication, collaboration and executive function skills.

"Many two-year and four-year Early Childhood teacher education programs do not include STEM coursework. We need to build teachers STEM confidence so they may grow children's science, engineering and math confidence."

U.S. Education Secretary Dr. John King, U.S. STEM Executive Director, Dr. Russell Shilling and representatives from several federal agencies met with Draper and leaders from STEM organizations across the nation including: National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), Heising-Simons Foundation, National Association Education Young Child (NAEYC), The Erikson Institute, Purdue University College of Education.

In addition, other leaders in Early Learning STEM, ECSTEM (, The Children's Center at Caltech, Carnegie Science Center, Discovery Cube Los Angeles & Orange County, California State University, Northridge, Stratford Schools, released position statements in support of the White House Early Learning STEM Symposium and for the national push to teach science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to children as young as three.

To view the event,

*White House press release:

Readiness Learning Associates is a STEM Readiness organization. To learn more visit

For more information:
Contact: Carrie Lynne Draper, Executive Director
Email: carrie(at)readinesslearning(dot)net

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