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The Children's Center at Caltech is hosting the Early Childhood Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (ECSTEM) Conference to promote and increase awareness of the importance of introducing STEM education in early childhood (birth through eight years).

To prepare today's children for the challenges of tomorrow, it is increasingly important that they have developmentally appropriate, inclusive and culturally sensitive approaches in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Yet, meeting the needs of an economically, ethically and socially diverse student population - especially for the youngest of learners - is challenging. And so, the Early Childhood Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (ECSTEM) Conference was born.

Our goal is to tackle the challenges facing early childhood educators regarding STEM curriculum and instruction; to address the implication for early childhood pedagogy; and ultimately, to initiate a national movement focusing on STEM education for children ages birth to eight. As the shortage of professionals in STEM fields is heading to crisis levels in the US and California, we must act now to change the direction of the future for our children and for our communities. To accomplish this goal, we are gathering early childhood practitioners, researchers, business leaders, policymakers, and trusted educators to collectively develop a plan to train early childhood educators to provide the highest quality STEM opportunities for our children, spreading awareness of the importance of STEM skills to families and involving them in the process. We want to enlist those with like minds who understand these challenges and are motivated to act on behalf of our children.

It's a big order, but together we can make great strides toward equipping our children with the tools necessary to create change, innovate, and be effective and productive individuals - the skilled STEM professionals of the future. Thank you for your interest in joining us in this movement to strengthen our educational system for the future generations to come!