Constructing Young STEM Engineers
It’s Engineers week! STEM in our classrooms is a powerful way to help students learn how to think critically and learn to problem solve…two important life skills that will only help them as they get older. Allowing even the youngest learner to engage in hands on learning through STEM will help them cope with the world around them as they learn to think outside of the box.
We are building on to our school. What a perfect time for my kindergarten and first graders to build with simple supplies such as paper and blocks, wheels from a kit, string, and straws. I love when my students draw their designs and learn how to modify as well as add technology. This is a way to tie it all together. Finding easy ways to add real world situations allows for students to make those connections. Whether it is the cold weather outside allowing them to build an easy shelter for a Beanie Baby or a book about airplanes that let students make their own flying objects…STEM can be easy to add…you just have to try it!
Our youngest of engineers are always finding creative ways to build with simple supplies that we make available to them. Often times this is done through sensory stations or bins. Setting up STEM opportunities does not need to cost a lot of money. Simple supplies whether math manipulatives, recyclable goods, or dollar store finds set the stage for hands on learning opportunities. By adding observing, exploring, questioning, and predicting to already existing stations they can now be exploratory STEM stations. This allows teachers to start constructing the foundation for science, technology, engineering, and math as a key component to their school day.
Young children need to be able to interact with real objects in their school and home environment in order to have learning take place naturally. That is why “constructing” STEM lessons develops solid reasoning, predicting, and problem solving early on.
Here are some great STEM benefits in your classroom…
- Science is about asking questions and predicting what might happen. This sets the stage for students to be creative thinkers.
- Integrating technology such as qr codes and iPads allow for early learners to create and connect to lessons beyond paper and pencil.
- Using simple materials that are readily available while connecting it to what you are already teaching allows for simple, yet effective STEM integration
- STEM allows for natural “playtime” to occur through observing, questioning, and exploring in a hands on way. It also shows students how to learn to modify and change through trial and error and use problem solving strategies.
Here is a (freebie pack) to help start “constructing” your STEM classroom with little learners and beyond!
Happy Engineer’s Week from the Science School Yard. Check out this fun iPad App to keep your kids building and moving… Kids Vehicles: Construction Lite it adds a great technology component for your STEM lessons and it’s free!