The various STEM disciplines have been included in school curricula in some manner for many years. In recent years, however, these four subjects have been combined to symbolize a set of talents that complement each other and are viewed as particularly valuable in today’s job market and the modern world.
Most STEM-related disciplines are typically taught to children as academic concepts, but these concepts can also be illustrated and used through various projects and activities. These highlight teachings and learning styles that conventional academics may overlook or altogether ignore. If given the time and effort required for success, STEM projects can help children comprehend real-world, practical applications and uncover innovations.
What are STEM fields?
STEM comprises the initial letters of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. However, STEM is much more than a word’s etymological examination. The pedagogical aims of contemporary intellectual institutions have shifted dramatically.
It is a redistribution of values that emphasizes the contemporary societal significance of these disciplines. An effort is being made to prepare young people for the world they will soon inherit.
STEM is a popular educational strategy emphasizing the interdependence of the four main academic fields. This strategy is supposed to improve students’ understanding of each subject and their overall success.
Why is STEM Education Important for Children?
Currently, most sectors, disciplines, and information sources are rapidly changing, innovating, and evolving. It is believed that children should be exposed to STEM activities as early as possible to help them become adaptable, innovative, and technologically literate.
In addition, children must understand the hows and whys of STEM fields and the various technologies derived from each. Thus, as this technology evolves throughout time, children will be able to evolve alongside it and build upon the firm foundation established by STEM activities when they were younger.
Suppose a young child understands the foundation upon which technological advances and advancements are built. In that case, they will likely have an easier time using their prior knowledge as a relevant bridge to acquire the complexities of new technology. Since STEM-based jobs account for a big amount of the current employment market and will likely continue to do so in the future, encouraging children to remain engaged in STEM studies will help future-proof their skill set.
Young children appear to have an almost unquenchable curiosity in STEM, but as their lives become more complicated, this enthusiasm may wane as their priorities shift. Nevertheless, STEM-derived skills and activities appear to be rising in significance due to our society’s orientation. Keeping children engaged in STEM will help them acquire the necessary abilities if they ever wish to return to that world.
These talents can also expand beyond the four fields of STEM. Typically, secondary teachings on digital literacy and good digital citizenship, written and verbal communication, problem-solving, thinking creatively, and thinking critically are also included in STEM-related activities.
Seven STEM Activities for Youth
Cloud in a Jar
This exercise can be inexpensively entertaining for both boys and girls, as only water and hairspray are required to explain the formation of a cloud. It can be presented to make it accessible to young students, or it can be augmented with big-picture concepts such as the water cycle to engage older youngsters. This activity performed outside on a cloudy day demonstrates the procedure in real-time. This provides children with an additional means of studying the weather and water cycle.
Using Code to Solve a LEGO Maze
Your student may be familiar with LEGO, but they have likely never utilized these plastic blocks in this manner.
This STEM assignment requires children to code a LEGO minifigure’s path through a block maze. This project can be modified for younger children or made more challenging for elementary and middle school students.
Constructing a Basic Machine
This activity is designed for inventive STEM students whose ideal learning environment comprises engaging, hands-on projects. The construction of this hand crank winch will aid their comprehension of the concept of constructing incredibly remarkable objects.
You will likely be required to assist during the construction process, but the tools are not harmful. They are also inexpensive and accessible.
Examine Your Water
Involving your student in the water testing process at home will teach them how to do simple tests and how water may be manipulated. You can purchase water tests online, and some health facilities offer free water testing.
As a bonus exercise, sample water from creeks, ponds, and other bodies of water, then compare your findings to the water you drink, shower with, and cook with.
What makes your water safe for consumption? Is it truly so difficult to drink from the creek?
Create a New Animal or Plant
Learn about adaptation in nature through a highly imaginative and adaptable activity: have a student design an entirely new species of plant or animal!
Students can choose the environment in which their creature will live, or you can establish the parameters to determine which solutions are proposed for the issues this imagined entity must solve. After selecting a plant or animal, have students write a narrative about a day in its life. Describe adaptations and characteristics that assist the species in locating food and refuge. Additionally, you may request a drawing of the monster.
Construct and Examine Soap Bubbles
In this project, you and your student will design or attempt to improve various bubble-making solutions. You can compare and contrast each chemical’s positive and negative effects on bubbles while discussing physics concepts such as surface tension.
In addition to the educational benefits of this project, young participants can learn the confidence to experiment and try out their ideas in a relatively safe environment, with clear examples of cause and effect resulting in either positive or negative bubbles.
Make Your Very Own Slime
Slime is a product your children have likely seen in stores, but making their slime is a simple STEM exercise. It is a timeless craft that is reasonably inexpensive to purchase materials for. Just be cautious, as the slime is inedible. Therefore, keep an eye on younger students as they explore the vast realm of chemistry.
How to Introduce Your Child to STEM
If you are uncertain about how to initiate a young person’s STEM education, the activities mentioned above are a good place to start. STEM learning activities are similar to science experiments but also include other components that touch on all four areas, resulting in a well-rounded educational experience. In addition, they are designed to establish and foster a lifetime passion for inquiry, exploration, and discovery, enabling youngsters to develop into adaptive lifelong learners.
Most STEM activities can be completed at home or school, making them ideal for at-home learners, after-school activities, or a classroom full of globetrotters. STEM activities can be entertaining. They may include mathematics, science projects, and the acquisition of engineering skills. Additionally, children can understand how technology functions in the actual world.
If a student is disinterested in activities or desires additional resources, online STEM courses might serve as an alternative or a wonderful source of supplementary information.
Whether you choose activities or online courses to introduce STEM to your student or students depends on the student in question; the only guideline is that this should be done as early as feasible in a child’s academic career. The sooner they are introduced to the topic, the sooner they will begin to build a foundation to grow their knowledge.
Investigate Online STEM Courses for Children
Regardless of a learner’s age, engaging them in STEM is a worthwhile activity, and there is a wealth of targeted and specialized resources accessible to assist. STEM learning may be incorporated into the learning process at every level of the academic system, from Pre-K and Kindergarten through high school, whether you are a teacher, a parent, or a caregiver searching for ways to stimulate a child’s curiosity.
Enriching STEM activities or instruction can prepare a young child for a lifetime of absorbing information, adjusting to it, and continuing to grow in a constantly changing world. If you’re seeking more information about STEM learning, Matic Academy offers a variety of online STEM-focused courses that help children learn, grow, and have fun.
This course teaches the relevant skill of coding using Minecraft, one of the most successful examples of transforming video games into STEM games for children. If you are seeking further STEM challenges or activities for children, check the Matic Academy website for additional STEM-related items!