All children should enter kindergarten prepared to take on STEM challenges. Research indicates that math skills, in particular, serve as a better predictor of long-term school success than literacy. According to the Washington Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills (WaKIDS) data, fewer than half of the children in Washington state are entering kindergarten prepared in math.
During the past decade, the field of early learning and education has garnered a significant amount of attention as more research highlights the critical brain development that occurs during the first five years of a child’s life. New technologies and ways of connecting people and information have the potential to transform the way we support children, families, and communities in this rapidly changing environment.
Thrive promotes the Center for Social Innovation’s definition that social innovation is a novel solution to a social problem that is more effective, efficient, sustainable, or just than present solutions — and for which the value created accrues primarily to society as a whole rather than individuals. In order to increase the STEM success of children in Washington state, we are interested in supporting innovative and novel ideas that communities would like to test on how best to advance STEM learning for children and families they serve.