How to fit STEM enrichment curriculum into your school in additional to your core classroom curriculum
At Kid Spark Education, in our work providing STEM education early and consistently, we’re well aware that there are a variety of ways to bolster a love of STEM learning in the classroom. For elementary school students in particular, there are so many books that teach about science, technology, engineering, and math. From covering famous figures to opening up students' minds to STEM concepts, to serving as a good launching pad for in class activities— even storytime can be a STEM learning experience.
At Kid Spark Education, we help schools and educational service providers disrupt the pattern of educational inequity by providing STEM kits and programming early and consistently for elementary school students. To bridge the opportunity gap for STEM learning, we align our curriculum with standards designed to help teach a love of STEM. One way we do that is by infusing the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) into our elementary and middle school curriculum. These standards are made up of three parts:
Preschool is a key time to introduce young learners to the foundational fluencies of science, technology, engineering, and math through STEM kits. That’s because these early years are a crucial time for brain development. As Buchter explains in this reporting by the University of Nevada,
At Kid Spark Education, we’re well aware of the lack of confidence many young women have in STEM. Girls, as they enter puberty, start to lose confidence in STEM, which cuts off so much talent across STEM disciplines. In fact, as a part of a partnership with the authors of The Confidence Code for Girls, Ypulse conducted a nationwide quantitative online survey of 1394 8-18-year-olds and their parents/guardians. The study found that:
Starting STEM education early sets students up for educational success in and out of the STEM subjects. With the critical thinking, creative problem solving, and logical reasoning skills learned through early STEM fluency, young learners are able to adapt more quickly and embrace the world around them with curiosity and confidence.
Having access to STEM education is so important, but it’s not just a matter of having a couple STEM kits and activities. All the way through elementary school and middle school, students need access to full STEM programming curriculum in order to truly build STEM identity and technology fluency. That’s why Kid Spark Education is designed to not only provide STEM kits, but a full program focused on giving students progressive education that builds every single year.