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.
For elementary school students, it is paramount that they get STEM education early and consistently throughout their education. A key way to add STEM learning to early education is using STEM kits. That’s why, at Kid Spark Education we’re happy to offer our STEM Labs for students in elementary school and beyond. We want to help foster a love of problem solving and scientific thinking that can support students throughout their lives.
For students in Kindergarten through the 8th grade, getting STEM education early and consistently throughout their education is deeply important. That’s why, at Kid Spark Education we’re happy to offer STEM Labs for students in PreK-8. We want to help foster a love of problem solving and scientific thinking that can support students throughout their lives. Because STEM is such an integrated and interdisciplinary approach to learning, it engages kids in meaningful and collaborative work that mirrors real life.
Working with educational institutions all over, at Kid Spark Education, we’re always thrilled to see engaged and thriving elementary school STEM classrooms. That’s because for us, STEM isn't a buzzword— it's a powerful way to nurture students' natural curiosity, build confidence inside the classroom and out, and foster collaborative problem solving.
At Kid Spark Education we’re proud to offer programs that make it possible for educators in early childhood education to Middle School to teach STEM. Our elementary and middle school STEM programs provide value by helping children to see themselves as critical thinkers and problem solvers, both skills that have countless applications.
After ten years of research on STEM education for preschoolers and elementary students, we've got a lot to say about the importance of block play for young children as well as the importance of STEM mentors. In fact, our research shows that mentors (teachers, parents, grandparents....) aren't simply important—they're critical in helping children feel confident and capable in STEM.
Good news: Kids are already using the Design & Engineering Process
That means your job is to simply help your kids understand what they're already doing naturally. Take a look at a few real-world examples of the Design & Engineering Process that kids are already involved in, and notice what these things all have in common.
If you’re like a lot of parents (who may be newly homeschooling your elementary-aged kids), you've heard a lot about STEM education lately. Maybe you're looking for ways to incorporate STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) learning into the curriculum provided by your child's teacher, or you're looking for educational enrichment you can do to bring STEM home.
Science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) have always been important for learning about and impacting the world we live in. But these days, there's even more emphasis on the importance of STEM, especially understanding how to use the four subjects together to create new solutions to old problems.
But despite the importance of STEM, by 4th grade, 1 of 3 children have decided that science isn’t for them, by 8th grade, it’s half of all students; the number rises for girls, children of color, and children from
low-income families. Yet, 80% of jobs in the near future will require math and science skills. The key to disrupting that pattern is introducing STEM to children early and often.
The good news is, kids are typically quick learners with an intense curiosity for the world around them. In many cases, kids achieve their earliest intellectual stimulation through play. Kids may not know it, but they learn about many subjects through their structured and unstructured play time.
Collaboration, Communication, Creativity, and Critical Thinking
One of the main aims of the education system is preparing students to fill jobs in the workforce. That workforce has evolved greatly in the last few decades with the advent of the Digital Age. It has become much more technology-driven with a high demand for workers in fields related to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). Furthermore, all indications from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics are for continued rapid growth in the type and number of STEM-related jobs across various industries. In fact, the rate of employment growth in STEM occupations was double that of non-STEM fields between 2009-2015, and the trends don’t show signs of slowing.
Educators have taken note of this trend and its implications for the teaching-learning process. In 2002, the National Education Association (NEA), the United States Department of Education, and several high-ranking companies in the information and technology sector spearheaded the formation of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21), a national advocacy organization that encourages the use of technology in education and provides tools and resources to support it.
Over the years, P21 has refined the list of desirable skills for the STEM-enabled workforce into what is now known as the 4 Cs: Collaboration, Communication, Creativity, and Critical Thinking. These skills work in tandem with the knowledge-based and technical skills children are taught, in order to foster deeper learning in all content areas.