chapter  10
STEM in Outdoor Learning
Rooted in Nature
WithMonica Wiedel-Lubinski
Pages 24

This chapter discusses how science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills abound in nature-based early childhood education and provides examples for educators to consider. Issues of access and barriers to nature are addressed, which include considerations for urban and rural settings. The roles of educators, administrators, and families are offered with practical strategies to ensure successful STEM-based learning outdoors. The author shares a modified scientific method for outdoor inquiry that demonstrates the fluid, playful nature of experimentation that takes place outdoors in natural settings. Technology discussion calls out a myriad of low technology options for nature-based learning and play, often overshadowed by digital high-tech (indoor) platforms. Engineering examples refer to nature’s engineers and how natural resources can spark design, innovation, and problem-solving. Examples of mathematical thinking are outlined to help educators reconsider how children learn about shapes, numbers, and measuring, etc. This chapter highlights research and practices that illuminate ways nature-based learning and play supports STEM skill development and aligns with the early-learning standard.