When most people think about early childhood education, they think of teaching young children the basics: how to read, write, and do math. While it’s certainly important to give kids a strong foundation in these essential skills, there is another focus that should be an equally important part of early childhood education: stem. Science, technology, engineering, and math (stem) are vital subjects that all kids should have exposure to in order for them to be successful in the future. Let’s take a closer look at why stem is so important and how early childhood educators can integrate it into their curriculums.
What is STEM and what does it look like in the preschool classroom?
STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. In a preschool classroom setting, STEM education can take many forms. For example, a STEM toy might have children build structures using different shapes or use a magnifying glass to observe small objects in nature. STEM activities also incorporate problem-solving and critical thinking skills, such as designing and conducting experiments or researching how technology works and how it can be used to solve real-world problems. STEM education helps develop skills that are necessary for success in school and beyond. In the early years, STEM activities can lay the foundation for future interest and success in STEM fields.
Why is STEM important in early childhood education
The main reasons are as follows:
STEM teaches critical thinking and problem-solving skills
STEM toys and activities have become increasingly popular in recent years, and for good reason. STEM encourages critical thinking and problem-solving skills. STEM toys, such as building blocks or coding robots, encourage children to experiment and find creative solutions.
STEM teaches important foundations for math and science
Students aren’t just learning equations or theories, they’re also getting the chance to conduct experiments and build projects using science kits or programming tools. This kind of learning helps students understand how science and math are used in real life and can spark their interest in these subjects.
Preschool is the perfect age for STEM activities
Young children are at a critical point in their brain development and can absorb new information at a rapid rate. Introducing them to basic STEM concepts, such as problem-solving and experimentation, can have a lasting impact on their overall academic growth. Preschool is the perfect time to get children interested in STEM subjects, as they are curious about their surroundings and eager to learn new skills.
Preschool STEM can foster a lifelong love of learning
Children are natural explorers and experimenters, so encouraging their curiosity through science experiments and hands-on activities can help ignite a passion for science in the future. Even simple things like measuring ingredients for a recipe or counting out blocks can introduce basic math concepts in a fun and engaging way. By offering young children opportunities to discover and explore the world around them through STEM activities, we can lay the foundation for future scientific minds and a love of learning.
STEM helps kids learn to work with others
STEM education encourages collaborative and problem-solving skills in kids. By working on projects together and brainstorming solutions, children learn the importance of teamwork and how to communicate effectively with their peers. From playgrounds to boardrooms, the ability to effectively work with others is crucial. By teaching STEM subjects in schools, we can equip children with the collaborative skills necessary for future success in any field they choose.
STEM boosts creativity
When children are able to manipulate their environment and experiment with different methods or materials, they learn to approach challenges in a flexible and innovative way. STEM toys may not necessarily produce the next Spielberg or Picasso, but they do offer a unique opportunity for children to exercise and develop their creativity.
STEM exercise kids’ hands-on ability
When kids participate in science activities, they are given the opportunity to get their hands dirty and explore the world around them. STEM activities can improve hand-eye coordination. From building a miniature volcano to coding a computer game, these exercises allow children to interact with science in a tangible way, deepening their understanding of ideas and concepts.
STEM helps with language development
Studies have shown that children who engage in STEM activities early on develop stronger communication skills throughout their education. So whether it’s coding, engineering, or conducting an experiment, STEM can provide important opportunities for language development. And those communication skills can have a big impact on future success in any field.
STEM gives children a chance to explore their interests
When it comes to education, STEM subjects give children the opportunity to explore their interests in a hands-on and practical way. Whether it’s building a robot in robotics class or conducting experiments in a science lab, STEM classes allow kids to gain valuable skills while also finding out what they’re passionate about. STEM education offers a chance for kids to discover their strengths and explore their interests in a meaningful way.
As an educator, how should you properly conduct stem teaching?
Teaching STEM with Project-Based Learning(PBL). In the future, integration capabilities are far greater than individual professional capabilities. Because high-level work will be replaced by robots, human ability must be reflected in integration and creativity. To complete a goal-oriented project, children need to use various knowledge points in series, which is good interdisciplinary integration ability training. As an educator, you need to encourage students to learn like scientists and engineers, ask students to come up with a problem that needs to be solved according to each project, then design a solution to the problem, and use the STEM toy material kit to make products according to the plan.
For example, if you tell your students, let’s make a plane. You can guide students through the following four steps: First, what is the purpose of the plane? Second, what power is needed to fly? Third, how to make it? The last thing is to test whether it can fly.
Why is STEM important in early childhood education? Now you have known all reasons. First, it helps children develop problem-solving skills and critical thinking abilities. Additionally, STEM teaches children how to apply knowledge in new and innovative ways, which can help them become leaders in their field later in life. Finally, as the world becomes more and more technology-driven, it’s increasingly important that our youngest generation be prepared to work in these fields.
As a supplier of STEM toys, we know the importance of early exposure to these subjects. If you want to learn more about our products and how we can help you get started with STEM education, subscribe to our blog or contact us today.