STEM is the acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.
It is a cohesive inter-disciplinary approach based on a hands-on learning style.
Also, it encourages kids to experiment, make mistakes and learn from their own experiences. This helps them reach correct outcomes, rather than relying on what the textbook says.
Teaching STEM in the early years enables children to make those vital connections between everyday life and the STEM disciplines.
It also helps lay down the foundations for future academic success as they can also transfer skills they learn to other subjects.
Here are 9 reasons your child should learn STEM from an early age.
1. STEM Encourages Independent And Collaborative Learning
Young children benefit from STEM learning as they are generally naturally inquisitive.
Often, they want to explore and make sense of themselves and the environment in which they live.
STEM education allows them to develop their communication and problem-solving skills, especially when they are actively encouraged to express and experiment with their ideas and observations.
This type of rich educational setting also enables young children to develop concepts through investigative and explorative means.
It also allows for young children who are non-native speakers to consider learning a new language for classes or group projects.
This is because they can participate in scientific explorations with their peers in other parts of the world without major hindrances.
2. STEM Facilitates Multi-lingual Interest And Development
STEM education and activities are set in a way that they play a key role in the interest piquing and eventual acquisition of language skills.
When kids read books about science, for example, it can spark new areas of discussion around STEM with their mates in other parts of the world.
And these connections may stir up in your child, a wish to communicate smoother with their friend(s), leading to upgrading their literacy.
Your child would then be prompted to plan and carry out an investigation to test a hypothesis (a crucial aspect of a scientific investigation).
Afterwards, the child will have discussions about their hypotheses and results with their teammate, more fluently.
This exercise will help groom both their core literacy and comprehension skills.
Therefore, the insinuation that STEM is complementary to literacy is in fact accurate.
3. It Fosters Ingenuity And Creativity
Ingenuity and creativity pair with this form of learning to bring about new projects and innovations.
For example, without ingenuity and creativity, the recent developments in the digital space, take artificial intelligence (AI) as a case study, would not be possible.
These technologies were birthed by people who learned that if the human mind can conceive it, the human mind can achieve it.
No doubt they had a great K-12 STEM education teacher because such ‘genius’ innovations usually take root from STEM.
4. STEM Builds Resilience
During STEM education activities, students learn in an encouraging environment that allows them to fail (temporarily) and try again, as many times as possible.
STEM education stresses the value of failure as a learning exercise. This mindset enables your child embrace mistakes as part of the learning process.
Also, it allows him/her to build confidence and resilience (tough skin). Most importantly, this motivates the child when the going gets rough in real life.
No other education style stresses the fact that failure is part of a process that ultimately leads to success, as much as STEM.
5. STEM Encourages Experimentation
Without a little risk-taking, and experimentation, many of the technological advancements that have occurred in the last few decades wouldn’t have seen the light of day.
A number of these innovations were created by people who were told that their ideas wouldn’t work. Interestingly, their response is always; “I will keep trying until it does.”
STEM learning during your child’s early years encourages this attitude.
How does STEM accomplish this?
Simply by allowing its disciples to experiment and take risks during learning activities.
6. It Encourages Teamwork
One of the many advantages of STEM education is that students of all ages and levels can learn it.
Students of varying abilities and skillsets can work together in teams to find solutions to problems, record data, write reports, give presentations, etc.
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The end result is students who now have an understanding of how to collaborate with others and thrive in a team-oriented environment.
7. STEM Impacts Practical Knowledge
STEM education impacts useful knowledge and skills that your child can use in the real world.
This is in direct contrast with disciplines like Shorthand for instance that almost nobody has or will ever use again.
The style of education that this learning style offers, motivates students to learn.
This is because they know that the skills that they acquire can be utilised immediately.
Also, they know they can use it in ways that positively impact them and their immediate environment.
The ability to apply their knowledge to new and novel tasks will have them stand out from their mates when they enter the workforce.
8. STEM Encourages Tech Use
STEM education teaches kids about the power of technology and innovation.
This way, when your child comes in contact with new technologies, the child will be ready to embrace them, instead of being hesitant or fearful.
This gives a child the upper hand in the global landscape, that is becoming increasingly tech-centered.
9. It Teaches Problem-solving
Children are naturally curious and hands-on.
STEM education enhances this by teaching students how to solve problems using their critical thinking skills.
By engaging in STEM learning experiences, your young one will learn how to examine problems.
The child will go further to create a plan to solve them, not lingering and getting overwhelmed by the complexities of the problem.
Indeed, this form of learning will make your child solution-oriented instead of problem-minded.
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