Thursday, August 10, 2017
First STEM, Now STEAM
The school bells rang in my area today, how about you?
Many parents and teachers have been involved with STEM activities in school, now we are talking about STEAM. Do you know what the acronyms stand for?
S -- Science encourages investigation and answering questions, often involving experimentation.
T -- Technology refers to using simple tools like crayons and rulers, as well as more complex ones like microscopes and computers.
E -- Engineering refers to recognizing problems and testing solutions to them.
A --Arts encourages creativity and allows children to illustrate concepts they are learning.
M -- Mathematics deals with numbers, but also patterns, shapes, organizational skills, and much more.
Young children are now introduced to STEAM learning and it's not too young. Through observation and critical thinking, our little learners are grasping skills in math and science early in life. Even if your child is still in preschool, remember that play is learning.
I was reading a magazine article that gave an example how parents can even promote STEAM learning at home. It talked about making a homemade boat from recycled materials (cork, foil, craft sticks, swim noodle, and such). You design the boat with your child!
Then launch your boat in the bathtub, swimming pool, or even a puddle. Does it float? If you blow wind on the sail, how fast does the boat move? How about making several boats from different materials and see which one floats and glides better? Faster? Use a stopwatch to record the time.
Young children can grasp these concepts through experimentation and trial and error. Don't be afraid to experiment with new ideas, new science projects, and ways to use materials as new toys.
Just think, you as the parent may be involved with STEAM concepts without even knowing it. And, if your school-age child comes home from school and talks about learning STEAM, you will have a heads up about this concept in their curriculum.
Until next week!
Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com, public domain
Source: What Parents Need to Know About STEAM by Sabrina Boesch, Lake Mary Life Magazine, March/April 2017