Monday is the first day of school for a new Pittsburgh Public Schools early childhood classroom located in the Carnegie Science Center. The classroom will serve 20 children who were chosen through a randomized lottery, according to PPS.
Carol Barone Martin, executive director of early childhood development for PPS, said the children enrolled in the program will have unprecedented access to science resources.
The kids will have the opportunity to learn about science concepts such as outer space and the human body through the Center's exhibits.
"They'll be able to interact with the exhibits that come in and the pieces that are here on an ongoing basis," Barone Martin said. "And then the Science Center has the opportunity to learn more about how children interact with materials that are here."
Ann Metzger, co-director of Carnegie Science Center, said learning science doesn't necessarily have to be complicated, and that even young children have the ability to grasp scientific concepts.
“For a preschooler, STEM can start with something as simple as planting a seed in a cup of dirt.”
According to PPS, about 2,000 Pittsburgh children are enrolled in the district's early childhood programs. This is the second PPS early childhood classroom located outside of a school building. The other is inside the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh.
Mayor Bill Peduto's administration has said early childhood education is critical to start kids off right in terms of social, emotional and educational growth. Universal pre-K has been highlighted as a goal for the city to accomplish, although a timeline is hazy.