STEM is much more than an acronym for science, technology, engineering, and math. It's about teaching children inquiry-based learning, so they know how to ask the right questions and how to answer them authentically. It's about building upon children's natural curiosity and sense of wonder. It's teaching them to explore alternate thoughts and ideas. It's motivating children to take formulated risks, learn from calculated failures, and integrate acquired knowledge. It's focusing on intellectual based learning instead of academic based learning.
We often focus in on one academic area of STEM when teaching, but science, technology, engineering, and math are meant to come together as a whole to encourage higher-level thinking. By providing hands-on experiences with open-ended materials that incorporate STEM components, children become prepared for the world in which they live. They develop the valuable 21st century skills of communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity by engaging in exploration and learning how things work.
Having the right tools and materials available in the classroom plays an important role in providing high-quality STEM experiences for children. Step into the world of STEM from a child's limitless imaginative perspective and provide them with blocks and building materials, simple machines, magnets, magnifiers, and other tools and materials necessary to support lifelong STEM learning.
Create a space that encourages inquiry-based learning and guides investigation with these foundational STEM tools. Whether you choose to design a STEM center for your classroom or select a few pieces to enhance other areas of your classroom, these materials will lay the groundwork for higher level thinking.
Constructing with blocks and other building materials facilitates engineering and technology fundamentals through hands-on trial and error experiences. As children plan, organize, and follow through with their visions, they learn what it takes to bring their ideas to fruition, build upon their experience and knowledge, and create successful structures.
Simple machines are basic forms of technology that have a variety of real-world applications to make our lives easier. As children experiment with levers, pulleys, screws, wedges, inclined planes, and wheels and axles, they will develop a working knowledge of how concepts, such as incline force, weight, and distribution, effect, efficiency, and capability.
Magnets and magnifiers are intriguing and engaging scientific tools that provide children with a compelling view of the world around them. Through open-ended exploration, children can examine details and observe how magnets repel and attract. These basic tools are essential in engaging children's curiosity and supporting extended learning.
Coding is a fundamental 21st century skill that all children should develop to compete in the future workforce. Learning basic coding techniques shows children how information technology works an dhow to interact with it. Coding also illustrates process and sequencing which enhances critical thinking skills.
Learning about shapes, sequencing, and spatial relations develops the groundwork children need to build higher level math skills. In addition to helping children understand the world around them, these foundational skills will also create a strong base for children to acquire knowledge and understand concepts in all areas of STEM.
Exploring STEM based careers assuming various roles in dramatic play gives children the opportunity to familiarize themselves with personal areas of interest and inspiration. Often, children gravitate toward the sense of wonder and innovation presented in STEM-like activities and interacting with materials will lay the foundation for additional STEM based learning.
STEM activities are easily translated into outdoor play. The infusion of nature sets the stage for adventures and experiences that incorporate all five senses. Having tools and materials to support child-guided innovation provides limitless opportunities to explore the natural environment and dive into STEM concepts.
From accessories and supplemental materials to book sets and STEM journals, we have a variety of complementary STEM materials that add value to your classroom learning and lesson.
Resource books provide access to ideas, activities, projects, and adventures for educators to incorporate into the classroom. Building the foundation for inquiry-based play and investigative learning is a breeze when valuable, research based resources are available to complement and support your own plans and ideas.