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Check it out! NGPM and NGPS get a shout out from Shelley Pasnik, VP and director of the Center for Children and Technology at EDC. Shelley reflects on 6 issues for developing early educational technologies discussed at this year’s Fred Forward Conference.

Experts test all NGP apps throughout development

Experts test all NGP apps throughout development



The NGPS team had the honor of visiting our preschool friends for the ribbon cutting ceremony of their new preschool: the Nurtury Learning Lab in Jamaica Plain, MA.

The Mayor of Boston also attended, stating, “All children should have access to the best learning and school readiness opportunities we can provide. The Nurtury Learning Lab at Bromley-Heath is a great example of a service that will greatly impact children’s lives and start them on a path for success.”

The Nurtury is really an amazing building that makes an incredible statement for the importance of early childhood education and development. We are so happy to be partnered with such passionate people!

During our visit, children and teachers got to try out the NGPS prototypes — taking pictures of bean plants and growing sunflowers!

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See more photos of the event from the Jamaica Plain News.


Children and teachers in our very first field-testing classrooms were excited to see different plants growing so tall – in just a few days! What can carefully-designed iPad apps add to this experience?

In NGPS, children plant and care for beans and other seeds. Using the iPad, children take photos, label emerging parts of their plants, and measure the plants’ heights as they grow. Through complementary digital and hands-on activities, students make predictions, conduct experiments, document their plants’ growth over time, and engage in various other science practice skills. Saving information in their digital toolkit allows children to document and reflect on the incredible journey from seed to plant.


Each week the entire NGPS team meets for a conference call to discuss learning goals, development of the digital and non-digital activities, implementation logistics, lessons from the field, feedback from children and teachers, learning outcomes, and everything involved in creating educational interventions with technology for the preschool classroom.

The overall team consists of:

  • 5 researchers from SRI International, CA
  • 3 researchers from Education Development Center, NY
  • 9 production and development team members from WGBH Educational Foundation, MA
  • 1 external evaluator from Concord Evaluation Group, MA

Here’s a picture of some of the NGPS team members at the first project summit out in sunny Menlo Park, CA to kickoff the project in January!




Next Generation Preschool Science (NGPS) is a 4-year, NSF-funded research and development project. The NGPS team includes a group of education researchers and early science experts at SRI International and the Center for Children and Technology at EDC, a team of developers at WGBH with substantial experience developing apps and resources for classrooms, expert advisors, and partner teachers. Together, we are building out the research base for effective use of technology to support science learning in the preschool classroom.

NGPS 1) integrates established classroom activities with digital learning resources to promote young children’s engagement in science practices and understanding of science concepts, and 2) includes professional development resources to support teachers and guide classroom implementation.

The program will include 3 modules that promote engagement in science practices such as observing, predicting, experimenting, and recording and analyzing data to develop deep understanding of three big ideas:

  1. Change and transformation by exploring plant growth
  2. Force and motion by exploring ramps and pathways
  3. Light and movement by exploring shadows

Under this grant, we are developing:

  • Whole group activities: circle-time discussions, book readings, and short live-action video segments
  • Small group activities: hands-on investigations and reflection experiences
  • A tablet-based data collection toolkit that allows teachers and children to document and record observations and measurements and compare data as they discuss findings
  • A tablet-based game or simulation that provides unique ways for children to engage with science phenomena
  • A tablet-based Teacher’s Guide will feature professional development resources and videos to:
    • Provide background information on featured science practices and concepts
    • Promote the developmentally appropriate use of technology
    • Offer step-by-step instructions that support classroom implementation
    • Help teachers align activities with early childhood standards

Research and development work began in the fall of 2013.