Enhancing Family Time Through STEM
STEM is important to early childhood education simply because children are explorers by nature and that exploration starts at birth. An infant, born a blank slate, begins learning the moment they are born. It’s that natural progression and enthusiasm in learning that needs supporting by the early educators. Childcare centers, such as Kidz World, who are focused on education, use STEM to aid in the child’s development and encourage that exploration.
“All young people should be prepared to think deeply and to think well so that they have the chance to become the innovators, educators, researchers, and leaders who can solve the most pressing challenges facing our nation and our world, both today and tomorrow.” Science, Technology, Engineering and Math: Education for Global Leadership, Department of Education
What is STEM?
“STEM is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines — Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics — in an interdisciplinary and applied approach. Rather than teach the four disciplines as separate and discrete subjects, STEM integrates them into a cohesive learning paradigm based on real-world applications.” Elaine J Hom, What is STEM Education, Live Science.
Does that sound intimidating?
Don’t let the educational jargon fool you. Bringing STEM into family time is a great experience and not only the child will enjoy it, but so will you! When you see the terminology and its definition, it can seem very intimidating, but when you see it broken down into what can be done at home, well… it may surprise you.
“The National Science Foundation plays a vital role in expanding the knowledge base for innovative STEM learning both in and outside of the classroom and across diverse populations…” Executive Director of the STEM Education Coalition James Brown, House STEM Bills look to increase access to STEM Education for veterans, women, girls, and early learners, STEMEdCoalition
Breaking it down
Basically, what STEM is, is breaking things down to how they work, the mechanics of it, the who, what, when, where, and how of it all. Still a little overwhelmed? You won’t be when you see all the fun to be had.
Build something, take something apart, conduct an experiment… be hands-on with your teaching and explain the how and why behind every step. What is the science portion of the project? What is the math portion of the project? The engineering? The technology? One project can very well cover all four areas of focus. STEM tries to get us to understand they are integrated subjects, not standalone subjects.
Fun STEM projects for home
If these ideas don’t give you that fun you seek, check out Steve Spangler who is “an authority on STEM education with more than 1,600 television appearances to his credit”. Visit the Steve Spangler YouTube page to see what STEM has to offer your family. Make the most out of the precious time you have to spend with your family… use it as priceless teaching moments that create those precious lifetime memories!
Author: Belinda Davis © 2017