Young children are naturally curious about the world around them, so it makes perfect sense to introduce them to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) concepts and investigations at an early age. Whether it’s in a classroom setting or in informal learning environments. The link between early childhood and exposure to STEM concepts and investigations is indisputable. Children are naturally developing and strengthening their critical thinking and problem-solving skills when they build with blocks and other materials in their efforts to build simple to more complex structures. But block play is just one example of how teachers and parents can introduce young children to STEM concepts. Many school districts and organizations are adding STEM activities to the early childhood curriculum due to the long-term positive benefits of the early introduction of STEM explorations in the young child’s life such as the Mattapan Family Service Center Head Start program in Massachusetts. For more information on incorporating STEM in the early childhood curriculum check out my STEM teacher training workshop for early childhood teachers here.
STEM the acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math it’s the new “buzz word” on the lips of President Obama, industry CEO’s, and educators. Thanks to Judith Ramaley, President of Winona State University who coined the term STEM in 2001. Science and math are critical to a basic understanding of the universe, while engineering and technology are means for people to interact with the universe. STEM weaves those elements of human action and understanding into all aspects of education, Ramaley said. STEM education is transforming the way teachers teach and the way students think nationwide. Add the vowel “A” to STEM for STEAM, “A” stands for arts. Schools across the nation are incorporating the arts in their STEM programs. The integration of the arts and sciences are a natural addition to existing STEM curriculum. STEM education is where it’s at these days and will be for many years to come. School districts across the nation are jumping on the “band wagon” to incorporate STEM practices within their schools, starting with long-term meaningful STEM professional staff development for their teachers. Check out the following article to read more about the philosophy of STEM education.