Using robots to help preschoolers love STEAM

In the spring and summer of 2020, Brooklyn Preschool of Science closed down for six months due to COVID-19. During those same six months, almost 300,000 people left New York, so there are certainly fewer families in our zip code than there were in March.

Even so, our independent preschools are back to serving 300 families at three locations, offering in-person classes for students ages 2 to 5. Parents are trusting us with their children not just because of the safety precautions we’re taking, but because of our pedagogical approach, which begins with a spirit of inquiry and ends with students who have a lifelong love of science.

An inquiry-based, hands-on approach

Our schools are rooted in inquiry, in a sense of discovery. We believe that nothing should be taught separately. Reading, writing, math, art, movement—everything should be taught holistically. We’re also huge believers in hands-on learning: we have about 25 different animals in each building to help us teach life science.


Through Carmelo’s experience as a public school teacher for 20 years and our time at BPOS, we’ve seen that a hands-on methodology is especially well suited to science because it puts concepts in context. Students truly learn so much more when they’re able to get their hands dirty and touch everything.

Starting them young

The reason why we saturate the school with so many animals is that you can’t get somebody to love, say, geckos if they’re 11 or 12 if they didn’t have those early experiences when they were 5 or 6. The same is true of teaching skills like robotics, coding, and computational learning. It has to happen early. These are the years to create a passion for science, which also leads to foundational language acquisition at a young age.

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