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component of this standard centers around like-
lihood, including whether or not something is
possible. For example, children may wonder if it
is likely to rain on the day of a field trip. If it is
sunny, they may conclude that it is not likely, but
it is possible for it to rain if the sky starts to get
cloudy. Integrating STEM Disciplines
Science and mathematics pair naturally within
the curriculum. When children are conducting
investigations in science, they often make mea-
surement comparisons, such as which plant has
grown the tallest or which incline allows cars to
roll the fastest. Measurement is a component of
both the science and math disciplines. Also, as
children closely examine items in nature, they
often notice mathematical elements, such as pat-
terns, symmetry, and geometric configurations.
Stripes on angelfish and zebras create an alter-
nating color pattern. Ladybugs (a type of beetle)
and maple leaves are symmetrical, with shape
patterns that are a mirror image on either side of
their midlines. The shells of box turtles are com-
posed of interlocking pentagonal shapes.
Quantification is also an important aspect of
science. Children can differentiate insects from
arachnids, such as spiders, by counting their
legs—insects have six legs and spiders have eight.
With help, children can count the rings on a tree
stump to determine the age of the tree. Chil-
dren may also want to quantify and compare the
number of legs on various animals, the number
of grooves on a pumpkin, and the amount of
pebbles needed to sink a toy boat. When plan-
ning science activities for the classroom, teachers
should simultaneously identify the mathemati-
cal components involved and include them as a
focus of the curriculum. In this way, learning in
both science and mathematics is increased, and
children begin to understand the natural con-
nection between the two disciplines.
If mathematics augments the science curric-
ulum, science can also enhance the mathematics
curriculum. Many teachers plan quantification
games for their classrooms because these ma-
terials strongly support children’s construction
of number concepts (Ramani and Siegler 2008;
Whyte and Bull 2008; Young-Loveridge 2004).
When science materials are used as part of the
game, such as shells or fossils for counters, or
toy representations of fish or insects for movers,
they spark children’s interest in learning about
science. This can lead to more in-depth explo-
rations in the science area of the classroom. Ma-
nipulative materials that incorporate geometric
shapes are standard components of many pre-
school and kindergarten classrooms, yet children
may quickly tire of these familiar materials. It is
much more exciting and educational to examine
shapes within the context of science. Animal hab-
itats, such as nests and holes, are typically round.
Many shells have a spiral shape, a special type of
pattern. Starfish, many flowers, eucalyptus pods,
and the configuration of seeds in apples are ex-
amples of pentagons in nature. Bee combs, snow-
flakes, and many types of coral have hexagonal
shapes. By observing the geometry in nature,
children gain a much more comprehensive un-
derstanding of geometric shapes.
Technology integrates with science and
mathematics primarily through the tools that
children employ for observation, experimen-
tation, and measurement. In science, children
often use magnifying glasses to enlarge images
and expose detail. Several types of microscopes
are available. A simple, handheld magnifier in-
corporates a mirror so that children can see the
top and the bottom of objects. They can carry this
magnifier outside and explore insects or items
that they find from both perspectives. A more
elaborate microscope for children connects to a
computer and greatly expands the image of the
object under investigation. This type of micro-
scope allows a group of children to share their
observations with one another. Other technol-
ogy tools that children often use in science ex-
plorations include tongs, eyedroppers, pumps,
plastic knives, sifters, and funnels. These tools
frequently incorporate simple machines that can
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