If your child is school aged, by now you have probably heard them talk about STEM. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. It is an educational approach to learning with the end results being- students that take risks, experiment, experience, problem solve, embrace collaboration and are able to work through the creative process.
BeKids loves to embrace the concepts of STEM in our everyday play and activities in our after school programs. We will often sneak STEM into basic activities such as Lego play or tinkering. BeKids has also embraced "putting the A" into STEM. STEAM is all that STEM offers but adding in the ARTS component to learning.
Does this mean that we are only integrating cutting, pasting and coloring? Absolutely not! Arts, language arts and social studies are fundamental to STEAM learning and play. By adding in the Arts, educators can employ project based learning that crosses all 5 disciplines. STEAM offers an inclusive environment where all students are able to engage and contribute.
Educators are realizing that in today's world, student's exposure to STEAM will promote critical thinking that will set them up for future success. The earlier students are exposed to STEAM the better as they will be able to develop and grow their critical thinking, problem solving and creativity skills.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
So now that you know what STEAM is and the importance of adding the A to STEM, you are probably asking how you can encourage STEAM learning. We can honestly tell you that the answer is as simple as googling - "STEAM activities for kids." Good ole Google will come up with a number of websites that offer STEAM activities and projects for kids. You don't need to go out and buy an expensive kit or toy either. It can be as simple as creating a problem for your child to solve. Here are some examples we use at BeKids:
Create your name out of Lego.
How many plastic/paper cups does it take to make a tower as tall as you?
How can you transport this coin from one side of the tub to the other using only a few select supplies?
It's as simple as asking a question.
Feel free to email us your thoughts on STEAM and STEAM related projects.