An NAEYC Online Event
Rheta DeVries and Christina Sales responded to questions and comments during an online event from November 8–12, 2010. Read the questions and the authors'
Our book Ramps & Pathways: A Constructivist Approach to Physics with Young Children describes how—through experimentation with marbles and other objects along sections of cove molding (pathways), including inclined pathways (ramps)—children learn about force and motion at a practical level so later they can better understand these science ideas at a conceptual level.
From 2001 to 2007, we were part of a team who developed and implemented a demonstration of constructivist education at Freeburg School in Waterloo, Iowa. As children in Freeburg classrooms worked with Ramps & Pathways, not only did they learn about the physics of motion, but so did we!
Children created more and more complex structures that surprised us. Excitement rippled through the school as teachers called everyone to come and see what children had figured out. As time went on, we realized the richness of Ramps & Pathways activities and began to share them with educators locally, nationally, and internationally.