Teaching STEM is not as simple as knowing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics concepts, nor is it about teaching each subject in a different classroom, with different professors, and topics. The underlying STEM concept is all about integration.
For this reason, it is crucial to understand that, on one side, science relies on technology, mathematics, and engineering. On the other side, engineering depends on the findings of science, the application of mathematics, and the use of technological tools. Finally, technology is created by engineers and scientists who use mathematics. In effect, all four disciplines are intertwined.
The Advantages Of STEM For Kids’ Development
By incorporating all aspects of STEM in a lesson, students are learning skills that they can use in the real world. This motivates students to learn, as they know that the skills they acquire can be immediately utilized, and in ways that positively impact them.
However, all these new skills gained from STEM education extend beyond school. STEM education promotes a safe environment that allows kids to embrace mistakes as part of the learning process, take risks, explore and experiment as part of the learning process. In addition, kids understand how to collaborate with others to find solutions to problems, develop critical thinking, and become leaders.
Moreover, as we mentioned in the blog “Why It’s So Important to Have Girls in STEM Education”, the growing number of women and girls making meaningful contributions to STEM education is something to recognize and celebrate. This perception has had real effects on girls’ confidence in their STEM abilities. Encouraging an inclusive environment, where everyone is welcome, and everyone has the same capabilities to learn.
Grants Are Bringing STEM Programs To Support Kids’ Learning
This year, Believe in Me granted the Boys and Girls Club of Spokane County with $7,553 to support their Triple Play Program. You can visit the blog to learn more about this grantee. However, we want to focus on how the Imagination Playground is an excellent example of STEM practices for children and how it benefited more than 600 kids in Spokane.
- Children develop 21st-century skills when playing in small groups with the Kaboom Imagination Playground®. As mentioned before, these skills are engineering thinking and construction, physical skills, and leadership and collaboration within a peer workgroup.
- Play sessions that give kids enough time to think, collaborate and build.
- Encourages positive emotional expression, leadership, sharing, and collaboration.
- Develop engineering play behaviors like explaining how things work, problem-solving, testing, and following patterns.
Out-Of-The-Classroom Activities That You Could Use
Are you interested in using an interdisciplinary approach to STEM at home? There are a few things to keep in mind. First, choose lessons that are appropriate for all four disciplines. Second, select a clear learning objective for each lesson. This will help you determine which concepts from each discipline are most important to focus on and how they should be integrated. Finally, provide ample opportunities for hands-on learning. These will help children apply what they’re learning and better understand the concepts.
Some ideas for at-home STEM activities can be: Making a catapult, building a balloon rocket, creating a marble run with Legos, or constructing a simple machine. No worries, you don’t need to be scientific to do these things, follow this link to find more details, or look for tutorials on Youtube to practice.
Supporting The Innovators Of Tomorrow
Our vision is to help every kid develop the self-confidence they need to succeed. For this reason, Believe in Me is proud to support programs that encourage STEM activities. These activities help kids to build self-confidence by providing opportunities to try new things, learn new skills, and work at problem-solving. In addition, they help children see that they are capable of accomplishing things. Children who engage with STEM subjects gain skills that better prepare them for technology-focused roles in the future, increasing their opportunities to continue their studies and get better jobs. We believe in STEM and its positive impact on the future of our community’s children.
Your generosity is helping to prepare today’s children to become the innovators and inventors of tomorrow!