MCKINNEY, Texas — In North Texas, kids as young as three are starting to learn science, technology, engineering and math. The Learning Experience promotes diversity with students who are blind or hearing impaired.
Four-year-old Kate Asberry walked into a classroom at her pre-school, The Learning Experience in McKinney, Texas, a room full of future innovators of the 21st century.
The Learning Experience locations are teaching preschoolers STEM, science, technology, engineering and math. The experiments are designed to help kids learn about people who are blind and hearing impaired. Kids use their hearing to solve problems and discover assistive technology like braille, cochlear implants and hearing aids. They learn about the science behind their vision using microscopes.
“This Play-Doh looks more black, and this one looks more purple because of the drops, and this one stinks like soap,” Asberry said while participating in a new activity of making colored Play-Doh.
Nicole Tristan, executive director of The Learning Experience of Mckinney said the goal is to get them to use their senses and describe everything to someone else.
“We’re developing their senses, getting them to learn patterns and problem solve,” Tristan said. “Every day is something different for them, from the activity to the environment.”
Tristan also said that starting to learn something typically thought of as advanced for this age is very beneficial to the kids’ futures.
“At a young age, they absorb everything. We create that platform for them,” Tristan said. “They hold on to those elements throughout the years. They get excited about learning. Being confident when you explore these subjects at a later age is so important. We want to make sure they have those tools, to use them in the future.”
The lesson teachers are trying to instill in preschoolers at The Learning Experience is that we are all different, and that is okay! It is about figuring out how to connect with someone who does not have the same senses as you.