27 June 2017
Experts in education, industry, and national security all agree that there is a national imperative to graduate students with a thorough understanding of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM.) But many parents and teachers wonder, at what age is it appropriate to start teaching STEM? And how can we implement these concepts into early childhood education? The answer is: It is never too early to start STEM education, and an ideal way to teach STEM is to go out into nature.
In Engineering For Kids Junior Program, we aim to introduce students at 4 to 6 to Engineering Design Process as a method of individual discovery and inquiry. Provide numerous opportunities for exploration into various fields of STEM through authentic hands-on experiences and real-world application and make learning interdisciplinary through fun and engaging hands-on activities.
By asking the right questions, we can help stimulate investigations where students are identifying objects, making comparisons, making predictions, testing ideas, and sharing discoveries, all while engaging various STEM activities. In this way, children can learn concepts from different disciplines in different contexts.
The research is quite clear that the best practice in early childhood education is to break away from passive instruction and allow for more play and investigation, and this kind of learning early in life builds skills and interests that serve children throughout their school years, and later in life. Lilian G. Katz, in STEM in the Early Years, lays out a case that the best practice for early education is to allow students to be active, engaged, and take initiative in their own learning. Long-term research also indicates that being allowed opportunities to take initiative in your own learning is not only good for STEM learning, but for overall long-term academic success.
Our Summer Junior Camp, Challenging to the Sky allows students to be active, engaged, and take initiative in various sky related topics like 321 Blast Off, Sailing the Skies, Over the River, Arches and Stomp Rockets.
Early childhood education should tap into children’s natural curiosity and give them ample opportunities to be active participants in their own learning. Natural settings offer children almost unlimited opportunities to explore and investigate, helping them build STEM skills that create a solid foundation for future learning
We are ready to Challenge the Sky now. What about you?