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In 2011, The Children's Center at Caltech brought together distinguished researchers and educators to inform and inspire early childhood education professionals at the first ECSTEM (Early Childhood Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) Conference, in partnership with Head Start. The goal was to address the challenges facing early childhood educators regarding STEM curriculum and instruction; the implications for early childhood pedagogy and ultimately beginning a national movement focusing on STEM for Birth to Age Seven children.

Continuing to address the needs of students, their teachers and recognizing those working in early childhood education, the ECSTEM Conference provides business partners, community leaders, educators, politicians, practitioners, researchers, and students an opportunity to come together to address the needs of our youngest citizens.

In 2017, the ECSTEM Conference had its biggest turnout yet, with over 750 attendees!  With nearly 25 states represented, alongside the Dominican Republic, China, Mexico, and Saudi Arabia. Attendees were able to network, brainstorm, and learn from presenters, each other, and more!  Over the years, we have continued to gather early childhood educators and early learning stakeholders from around the globe to connect and engage in collaborative discussions about the topics that matter most!

In 2020, the ECSTEM Conference celebrated 10 years of Playing About with STEM. We are proud of this journey and look forward to keeping joyful STEM experiences in children's everyday play!