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DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM ON PHONE OR TABLET it is easy to also connect this pedagogy to habits of mind like persistence, curiosity, and logical thinking. Questioning, finding patterns, classifying, and engaging in argumentation are embedded in almost all early childhood programs. NGSS leaders and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) have supported the development of more active STEM curricula for early childhood. In fact, NSTA has developed a joint position statement on early childhood science education with the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) that represents another first. Here a just a few of the points made in that statement: ● ● ● ● ● ● “Children have the capacity to engage in scientific practices and develop understanding at a conceptual level.” It is never too early to explore science. “Adults play a central and important role in helping young chil- dren learn science.” These adults include not only teachers but also caregivers and parents, in a rich partnership that emphasizes exploration and experience without requiring extensive content knowledge. “Young children need multiple and varied opportunities to engage in science exploration and discovery.” While the prospect of integrating science into most early childhood experiences may seem daunting at first, it is really just an enrichment of what is normally done in school and child care settings (NSTA 2014). Educators are celebrating the increased prominence and significance of STEM experiences at the early childhood level. That’s because these experi- ences are so naturally integrated into our understanding of what’s appropriate at that level. It’s also because early childhood professionals share the joy of that discovery every day. 6 | Introduction COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL