exploration_station_students_web.jpgMIAMI — Miami Dade College’s School of Education has renamed its state-of-the-art preschool to reflect the institution’s commitment to teach children to explore the world around them.

At a Jan. 18 ceremony hosted by the college’s InterAmerican Campus, the  nationally accredited school, one of a handful of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)-focused institutions in Miami-Dade County, was designated Exploration Station: The Pre-School at Miami Dade College.

“The name was chosen based on one of the principles of preschool education, which is teaching children to explore the world around them,” Susan Neimand, director of the School of Education, said in a statement announcing the name change.

“We wanted the name to reflect our commitment to a child-centered environment where children learn based on their interests and in a safe and nurturing environment that encourages this type of learning,” she said.

Those joining MDC President Eduardo J. Padrón at the ceremony included Evelio C. Torres, president and CEO of The Early Learning Coalition of Miami-Dade and Monroe counties; Gina Cortes-Suarez, president of MDC’s InterAmerican Campus; and José A. Vicente, president of the North Campus.

 Also on hand to make the announcement were nine preschool children, who revealed the school’s new name by holding up large letter cards. 

The school, which is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, is located at the North Campus and is operated by the InterAmerican Campus faculty and staff.

It has enrolled 100 children from age 1 to pre-kindergarten and also serves as a demonstration site for those pursuing degrees in early childhood education.

It features a child-centered environment that stimulates learning based on each child’s unique interests, blending sensory exploration and hands-on experience, according to the college’s statement.

In addition to a traditional preschool curriculum and classroom, students learn about environmental sustainability, how to care for plants and herbs, good nutrition and healthy eating habits by cultivating their own garden.

Also, they begin to develop their writing skills by keeping personal lab journals devoted to the growth of the garden.

For more information, call Susan Neimand at 305-237-6152 or email sneimand@mdc.edu


FLASHY NAME: Students at the Exploration Station: The Pre-School at Miami Dade College at MDC’s North Campus flash letters to spell out its new name during a Jan. 18 ceremony. ­