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Elissa Nadworny/MEDILL

St. Malachy teacher Lauren Solarski introduces her kindergarten class to hands-on STEM instruction.

Starting early: STEM for kindergarteners

by Elissa Nadworny
May 14, 2013


Elissa Nadworny/MEDILL

Nariah Gordon, 5, listens while her classmates tell their teacher what an engineer does.


Elissa Nadworny/MEDILL

St. Malachy kindergarten teacher, Lauren Solarski, goes over the date with her students.


Elissa Nadworny/MEDILL

Kennedy Strongs, 5, works to build a staircase out of blocks as part of the engineering section of her kindergarten class' STEM center.

Do 5-year-olds know what an engineer is? In Lauren Solarski's kindergarten class they certainly do.

Solarski, a teacher at St. Malachy School on the West Side, decided age didn’t matter, introducing her version of the national STEM initiative to her kindergarteners. The initiative promoting science, technology, engineering and math is typically found in high schools.

Solarski's hands-on curriculum has captivated her students’ curiosity.Experts say her class is a great example of the right way to get kids excited about careers in the many emerging STEM fields.