Head Start on Engineering: Supporting Engineering Interest Development in Early Childhood

Head Start on Engineering (HSE) is helping to change who has access to learning over their lifetime by helping to prepare low-income families with young children (ages 3 to 5) for a world where science and engineering are now ubiquitous. Working with local Head Start programs, HSE help children and their parents develop enduring interests in and seek out future learning experiences related to engineering to shape children’s performance in school, engagement in extracurricular activities and hobbies, perceptions of themselves, and aspirations for future careers. Integrated into the program development and implementation process is an ongoing research agenda to understand how young children and their families develop interests in engineering and the factors that shape this process during preschool and beyond. Funded in part by the National Science Foundation, Oregon Community Foundation, Collins Foundation, Boeing Corporation, University of Notre Dame, and Juan Young Trust, HSE is a collaboration between the Institute for Learning Innovation, Mt. Hood Community College Head Start program, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI), and the Center for STEM Education at the University of Notre Dame.