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STEAM Online Training: Tinkering and Early Learning (in English & Spanish)

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS), in partnership with WestEd and the Exploratorium, recently announced the launch of new self-paced online training modules focused on tinkering, titled STEAM Starters: Tinkering for Early Learners.  The modules, which can be found online through California Early Childhood Online (CECO), include examples of the way that a tinkering approach can provide starting points to support children’s Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) learning. The modules are available in English and in Spanish. 

This course was produced with funding from the CDSS to develop a comprehensive set of online professional learning opportunities for California’s child care and early education workforce.


El Departamento de Servicios Sociales de California, en asociación con WestEd y el Exploratorio, se enorgullece en anunciar el lanzamiento de módulos de capacitación en línea a su propio ritmo centrada en retoques, titulada STEAM Starters:  retoques para niños de la primera infancia.  Los módulos ofrecidos por California cuidado y desarrollo infantil en línea (CECO) ofrecen ejemplos de cómo un enfoque de retoques puede proporcionar puntos de Aprendizaje de Ciencia, Tecnología, Ingeniería, Artes y Matemáticas (STEAM).

Intended Audience

The course is designed for early educators in California who provide care to young children in various settings, including family child care providers, family, friend, and neighbor providers, and center-based child care providers. It can also provide a helpful refresher for anyone using its information and skills in their daily practice or for trainers, coaches, and administrators who support early educators.

Learning Objectives

STEAM Starters provides practical online learning experiences that help build confidence in planning, facilitating, and relaunching tinkering activities.

The course also provides concrete activities, reflection tools, and printable resources that support and extend the learning experiences. Those who complete these modules will build on their existing strengths and be able to…

  • Understand that tinkering is about playful exploration and not a final product

  • Identify the developmental benefits of tinkering for children and adults

  • Gain confidence to plan, facilitate, and reflect to relaunch tinkering activities

  • Engage children in meaningful STEAM learning

  • Discover their inner child and curiosity for tinkering

  • Recognize opportunities in their environment that lend themselves to tinkering

How to Access the Course

The course is available in English and Spanish and is compatible with both mobile devices and computers. It also includes helpful accessibility features for those with a range of learning needs or disabilities. You can find the STEAM Starters online course on California Early Childhood Online (CECO).

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