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.
When it comes to incorporating the cohesive and consistent education that’s required for confidence in these subjects, finding the right curriculum can be a challenge. Some educators undertake the lesson planning, material providing, and instruction independently. Others spend years trying to get the programming they need from the administrative level. And still others are provided with STEM curriculum that they haven’t been trained on themselves.
To successfully incorporate STEM into your Elementary (PreK-5th) curriculum, it takes a cohesive, and ecosystem approach for these young learners to gain access to the STEM education they deserve.
The Benefits of STEM Curriculum in Elementary
First, let’s look at the amazing benefits that STEM curriculum provides for elementary aged students and why it’s important to start this consistent education early.
Setting students up for academic success
Introducing high-quality STEM between the ages of four and seven naturally taps into the imagination and creativity of young minds. By equipping these young learners with spatial reasoning, sequential thinking, and creative problem solving, the empowering path of STEM has already started to take root.
These basic concepts will be built upon throughout their entire educational career. Being “STEM fluent” provides essential tools that students will carry throughout their academic careers.
Setting students up for future success
According to the World Economic Forum, 65% of students today will grow up to have careers that do not yet exist. Those jobs will be rooted in new technologies that will shape the employment landscape with scientific advancement and demographic changes.
Not only do we need to be proactive to provide the most opportunities for young students today, but we want to be active in making sure access to these opportunities reaches across modern demographics.
When we introduce the concepts of STEM at the elementary level, we create STEM fluencies that will provide opportunities for students for the rest of their lives. Though the technologies may look different in the future, the fundamental concepts that are the root of all science, technology, engineering and mathematics will remain the same.
Kid Spark students of all backgrounds are more likely to choose professional careers, and be powerful and influential innovators in the future tech sector. With equitable access to STEM programming through the program affordability and additional STEM Equity Grants Program, historically underrepresented demographics have a chance to learn and love STEM, too.
An early STEM education today creates a bright technological future for us all.
How to Design STEM Curriculum for Elementary
Multi-Grade Level Integration // Cohesive Programming
The most effective STEM curriculum involves continuous and consistent education around the core fluencies. The technologies and concepts build upon each other to provide an enriching and exciting experience for young learners.
But linking multi-grade levels together through multiple administrations is a challenge. The result leaves inconsistent access to STEM education for students.
A solution lies in the administration decision-makers, and the creation of cohesive STEM programming that accounts for a child’s entire educational journey through the STEM subjects.
Kid Spark’s mission is to provide access to STEM education for all students. The program units are specifically designed to create comprehensive fluencies from Pre-kindergarten through high school. Programs include all the necessary tools for activities as well as thorough lesson plans, lesson guides, and worksheets.
Resources for Educators
Part of a cohesive curriculum is providing adequate training for educators. Regardless of their own educational background, providing a support system for teachers is essential. Through lesson planning, professional development, and training teachers can also be empowered with a cohesive and consistent curriculum that is provided by the school and/or district.
When educators feel supported and confident in the subjects they’re teaching, they can better educate their students. This is especially important in the subjects of STEM where an early apprehension of the subject matter can follow a young student for the rest of their lives.
Empowered teachers pass on a genuine excitement and curiosity around lessons and subject matter. This is also transferred to students and creates a safe learning environment and ecosystem for young minds to creatively explore the capabilities of STEM.
Build STEM Ecosystems
STEM education goes beyond the classroom of elementary schools. By incorporating STEM enrichment programs into schools, students gain additional access to learn and experiment with the concepts of STEM.
School-sponsored enrichment activities like field trips, assemblies, and science fairs, expand the world of STEM for young minds and provide first-hand access to how STEM concepts can be applied in the real world.
The additional educators, community members, and STEM influencers that participate in these enrichment programs also expand the ecosystem to support young learners along their academic path.
Providing Equitable Access to STEM Education
Making STEM easy and affordable cuts down barriers that have long existed and isolated students to receive a different quality of STEM education, and sometimes none at all.
Not only are Kid Spark programs one of the most affordable school-wide solution currently available, but elementary teachers readily adopt the all-inclusive curriculum and packaging as an easy and affordable way to bring STEM education to all students.
In addition to this, Kid Spark offers The Kid Spark STEM Equity Grants Program, which provides Title 1 schools with everything they need to encourage STEM learning in their classrooms at no charge.
Finding Elementary STEM Curriculum for Your School
Kid Spark Education was founded on the belief that access to STEM education can change lives. They do this by providing tools that support STEM education and educators equally.
With grade-level specific programming, professional development and training for educators, and an integrated curriculum from Pre-K through Grade 8, Kid Spark is an all-encompassing solution for elementary schools, their educators, and their administrators.
To learn more about our programs, take a look at each program level and explore the different lesson plans included in each starting at Pre-K - 1st Grade, 2nd - 5th Grade, and our 6th - 8th Grade Program.
You’ll find programs that help students build the necessary foundational fluencies and develop them each year: starting with basic spatial reasoning, and ending with advanced coding and robotics.
For more information on bringing STEM labs to your elementary school, contact us today.