What does STEM stand for?
STEM is a learning approach that encourages children to learn through Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. From preschoolers, kindergarteners, early learners and Montessori children, STEM helps children develop their minds and many different developmental skills.
Each STEM concept has a different focus:
- SCIENCE: Gathering & exploring data. Learning about the world and problem solving
- TECHNOLOGY: Computers, tablets, and tools designed to meet the needs of people
- ENGINEERING: Designing tools, structures & systems
- MATHEMATICS: Shapes, angles, distances & numbers
There are fun ways to introduce these concepts inside the daycare or school setting.
Teaching STEM to Preschoolers/Early Learners/Montessori Children
Generally speaking, children are very receptive and adaptive to the STEM learning approach. In a childcare setting, educators can explore STEM concepts by allowing children to be free and encouraging them to connect with the real world. That is all part of how STEM works.
STEM Activity Example in an Early Childhood Setting, or Daycare, Childcare, and Montessori
At SimplySmart Childcare Centre & Montessori, children were interested in stacking the snow on top of each other and packing it as if more snow were coming out of it. The children called it “a volcano”. This is where STEM’S Science aspect comes into place. The teacher follows the children’s interest to develop the activity. While they sit outside, the teacher gather all the required materials (food colouring, baking soda, vinegar), and gave them a lesson on volcanos. They showed the kids how volcanos works with the kids were able to witness it with their very own eyes. Once completing the lesson, the teacher of the classroom took the children inside and expanded their knowledge by using their engineering skills to create their very own volcano through structures.
Let us take a little peek into this fun experiment:
The teacher showing the children the ingredients being used
The teacher and children adding the ingredients
The children waiting on the result of the volcano
More Questions ?
Still thinking about it? Confused about how to do it? How will I fit it into my existing curriculum?
These answers will come as they go! Little do you know it, but you are currently using STEM inside your classrooms as we speak! Are you doing science experiments with the children and are you creating graphs and getting the children familiar with their shapes? Then yes, you are a STEM user!
Through hands-on challenges that the children are doing, the children will grow and develop through the works of STEM.