What is STEM? It is a learning approach where the children learn through Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. In an early childhood setting, STEM can develop the minds of the children as well as many different developmental skills. Inside the daycare or school setting, there are fun ways to introduce these concepts.
Teaching STEM to Preschoolers/Early Learners/Montessori Children
In a childcare setting, you must know that children adapt to learning STEM concepts and there are many different ways to explore them. Allowing the children to be free and encouraging them to connect with the real world is all part of how STEM works.
Let us view the different areas of STEM:
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
STEM Activity Example in an Early Childhood Setting, or Daycare, Childcare, and Montessori
At SimplySmart Childcare Centre & Montessori, the 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”. Based on the children’s interest, this is where STEM’S Science aspect comes into place. The teacher of the classroom gathered some materials such as food colouring, baking soda & vinegar. The children went outside for recess and sat with the teacher while giving them a lesson on volcanos and showing them how it works with their very own eyes. Once this lesson was completed, 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 about STEM?
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.