MILFORD — Science is the key to a bright future for children, according to Dr. Heidi Gold-Dworkin, founder of Little Scientists. With that in mind, a grant from Milford-based Big Smiles Pediatric Dentistry can help make that future a reality.
“We are at a pivotal moment in science education in our country. The pandemic has made it clear that we need to educate everyone in science,” Gold-Dworkin said. “It is critical to start with the youngest students, who are natural scientists, and help all children become scientifically literate adults.”
The hands-on science education program for preschool students in Milford began Jan. 21 and will run through current school year. The program is being run through Little Scientists, also a Milford-based business. The goal is to open an avenue for children in the program to pursue careers in a STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) field of studies.
“We are committed to kids. That is who we are. And it is not just their teeth we care for, we care for their overall development,” said Martin Berger, a dentist at Big Smiles Pediatric Dentistry. “It is why we support the Little Scientists program and their mission to prepare students to have a solid foundation in STEM and critical thinking skills needed to solve problems in the real world. We want to ignite a young student’s love of science and give them a significant head start in preparation for a strong foundation in all academic areas.”
Thomas Nobili, instructional supervisor for STEM with Milford Public Schools, said it is never too early to encourage children to inquire about and investigate the world around them.
“Providing such opportunities, even in preschool, surely will help to nurture our students’ natural curiosity and foster a thirst for knowledge that will serve to create a foundation for learning that they will build upon for the rest of their lives,” he said. “We are grateful for the support provided by Dr. Heidi Gold-Dworkin of Little Scientists and Big Smiles Pediatric Dentistry to bring this experience to our youngest learners.”
The program, originally planned for the in-classroom experience, now finds Gold-Dworkin making virtual visits on Zoom to classrooms to share her knowledge with students, who participate through an experiment kit from Little Scientists.
Gold-Dworkin said she was thankful for the support that has allowed her company to reach students in Milford schools. She founded the program 26 years ago.
“We wanted to bring the best in early science education to all children, through quality hands-on learning; enabling them to explore the world around them and to prepare for the jobs of the future,” she said.