Full STEAM ahead!

Our new pilot Doodle STEAM programme will empower Parents/Carers as Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths (STEAM) Champions.

The Childhood Development Initiative (CDI), Tallaght Dublin Ireland, today announced the launch of Doodle STEAM, a new evidence-informed programme helping parents be more confident with Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Maths (STEAM) activities. We aim to support parental understanding of  STEAM and to develop their confidence in talking about, promoting, and engaging in STEAM activities with their children at home.

Facilitator at a white board
Nicola O’Reilly, DCU, training up CDI Doodle STEAM Facilitators who will then help parents/carers be more confident with Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Maths
A stethoscope made of a funnel, a balloon and a cardboard tube
Doodle STEAM trainers made a stethoscope! Made using a funnel, a balloon and a cardboard tube!

Parents can find Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Maths (STEAM) a challenge

Parent’s/carer’s involvement in their children’s learning is a key way we can encourage children to achieve developmental milestones, develop strong social skills, and realise their maximum educational achievement.

Giving parents/carers the support they need early on will provide a strong basis for their children’s confident engagement in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Maths subjects.
This parental involvement is important for developing positive attitudes and solid early skills for children’s success in school, engagement, and learning. Our Doodle STEAM programme helps parents/carers to support their children’s learning through activities, play, and fun.

The educational provision of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines has experienced an increased presence in government educational policy development internationally over the last decade (Wan et. al., 2021; Murphy et al., 2019). Irish educational policy, too, has witnessed an increasing focus on STEM education provision from early childhood to third-level education, publishing focused policy documents and implementation plans for STEM education (DES, 2011; DES, 2017a; DES, 2017b; DES, 2020) across these educational sectors (McNally, S., Gillic, C., O’Reilly, N., & Dobrus, H.,2022).

All research points to parental styles of engagement having an enormous influence on, and being crucial in shaping their child’s physical, emotional, and cognitive development from birth through to and beyond their teenage years.

Parental involvement is cited as central in the curriculum frameworks for the early years (Aistear), primary and post-primary education.

Helping Parents/Carers confidence with Science and STEAM subjects

With this perspective in mind, we developed a curriculum to help parents/carers better understand STEAM and feel confident participating in STEAM activities with their children. This is delivered as an eight-week programme for parents/carers of children who are six to eight years old. Every week, there are one-hour parent sessions covering each STEAM component plus sessions on “STEAM Outdoors” and “Messy Play.”

Doodle STEAM will be piloted in a selection of DEIS schools in Dublin 24 this Autumn. Following this pilot phase, the programme will be more widely available from Spring 2022. For more information on Doodle STEAM please contact Tara Scott, Programme & Quality Manager at the Childhood Development Initiative: Tara@cdi.ie or visit www.cdi.ie

 This programme is supported by Google Data Centre Community funding, in Dublin, and Dublin City University Institute of Education research team