April 21, 2016 – CLEVELAND. Teaching Institute for Excellence in STEM (TIES), a leader in developing
Digital Fabrication Laboratories (Fab Labs) and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)
curriculum and school design, has been named a partner in the Federal government’s new Early
Education STEM initiative.
TIES is among a group of leaders who are participating in the Early Learning Symposium today hosted by
The White House, in partnership with the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human
Services and Invest in US. The event is highlighting the importance of promoting active STEM learning
for our youngest children and to celebrate a broad range of public- and private-sector leaders
committed to promoting STEM learning across the country.
TIES is the first organization to deliberately build a Fab Lab – a maker space that uses digital design and
fabrication to build STEM skills and creativity – for early childhood. In March 2016, The Bay Area
Discovery Museum, in partnership with TIES and FableVision, launched the world’s first Fab Lab for
young learners (ages 3 to 10) to help them navigate the design process from concept to production, and
turn their ideas into reality.
Building on this work, TIES has made a commitment to bring early childhood Fab Labs to schools,
daycares, museums and other settings serving the country’s youngest learners. As part of this initiative,
TIES, in partnership with The Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology (ICAT) at Virginia Tech, will
prototype these labs in two Head Start programs with the intent to build a scalable model that will
enable all Head Starts throughout the country to have early childhood Fab Labs.
“As we build STEM programs in K through 12 schools, it’s critical that we look at the continuum of
learning.” said Jan Morrison, TIES president and CEO. “Research shows that preschool-aged children are
predisposed to developing inquiry skills, reasoning and early traits of problem solving during their day-
to-day curiosity and interaction with objects.”
Early childhood Fab Labs offer a creative, safe and supportive spaces that provide children with tools
and mentoring that promotes a mindset to shape and tinker in order to change the world around them.