Funded Projects

Research that shapes the future

The Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families & Schools is an interdisciplinary research center in the College of Education and Human Sciences at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

Preschool Science Talk in Action and Reflection (Pre-STAR)

Project Information

Principal Investigator: Soo-Young Hong
Co-Principal Investigator:
Funding Agency: UNL - Brazil Collaboration Pilot Impact Grant
Award Date:
Theme: STEM Education, Early Education & Development
Project URL: N/A

For more information please contact Soo-Young Hong at


This 18-month study explores how a professional development program could help preschool teachers integrate science into their daily classroom activities.

As part of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln/Brazil Early Childhood Initiative, researchers aim to investigate teachers’ ideas about incorporating science concepts with their classroom practices. They also will explore changes in teachers’ science talk as they observe and reflect on children’s interactions with science materials and their interactions with children, and changes in children’s response to teachers’ use of science talk.

Participants will include eight preschool teachers serving 4- and 5-year-old children from low-income families. Four of the study’s preschool teachers live in Lincoln, Nebraska, and four live in São Paulo, Brazil. Brazilian participants will be recruited from public preschool programs, while U.S. participants will be recruited from both public preschool and private child care programs.

During the study, teachers watch videos of their classroom interactions, reflect on opportunities to implement science lessons and receive additional training in early childhood science instruction. Researchers provide technical training materials, which suggest ways to connect children’s development with science teaching goals.

Researchers aim to use findings to help preschool teachers integrate science teaching through the process of observation and reflective practice.