Here is an A-Z guide to STEM for parents. This list is a starting point for parents to engage in STEM development with their kids. It covers some of the technical terms as well as ways to learn and foster STEM engagement in children.
Art is increasingly being recognised as a STEM discipline such that a lot of this field is becoming known as STEAM. This is perfect for preschoolers as art can be incorporated in so many different ways and can really capture kids imagination and creativity to learn these fields.
Higher, bigger, longer, stronger, mini. Building is a great way to get hands-on play and you can build with almost anything.
Creativity is a cornerstone of the STEM disciplines. Any way you can let your kids be creative in whatever they are doing will foster this development in them.
All great developments and creations start with a design and a vision. You can practice this by getting your children to draw or describe what they want to create before actually completing it.
Engineering is all about designing something to solve a need. For a preschooler, this often means building something of purpose. See what you can create together.
STEM disciplines are solidly set to be in the future of the next generations. One of the best things is that you, as parents, are now able to give your kids the best head-start by introducing these concepts to them right from an early age at home.
Collaboration is key to succeeding in STEM and group work is such an integral part of this. Groups provide the vessel for growing and fostering bigger ideas and solutions to problems. Working together can be encouraged from very early on.
Play-based hands-on learning is a known way to get kids engaged and focused. The tactile sense of touch generates a whole level of experience that is immensely beneficial. Let your kids get involved and even embrace the mess!
We live in a very information rich world these days. This can be both beneficial or equally overwhelming. Take the information you need at any given time and know that you can always source and search for more as required.
Join in with your kids STEM learning journey. You never know what bonds you will forge and what you will both learn from the experience. Best of all, you get an insight into how your kids think and learn as well.
This is all about kids! They are our future and through STEM we can teach them to ‘dream big’.
Kids learn each and every moment of the day. Before they start school, you often get to choose how and what they learn. There are so many great activities and experiences that you can expose your kids to for them to learn STEM. Pick the ones that resonate with you and your child.
Maths is the foundation and cornerstone of how STEM disciplines function. It does not have to be daunting at a preschool age. Start with counting and go from there.
A lot of work in STEM requires the traditional notebook where you write down ideas, design creations and document your work. Sometimes this is electronic and sometimes this is still done with a pen and paper. You can practice this skill with your kids by getting them a notebook and letting them ‘jot down’/draw/stick and create whatever they want.
Operations are the processes involved in completing all things related to STEM. It is great to get kids involved in following instructions and processes to practice this skill.
Play, play and play. Play-based learning is the easiest and best way to incorporate learning for preschoolers.
There are many different personal qualities which will assist your kids develop the skills required to excel at STEM. Here are 10 qualities you can start to develop in your kids at home.
Another great way to get your kids involved and learning about STEM is through reading. There are many different books to get your kids engaged. Pick what will work best for your child.
Science is all about learning and exploring the world around us. Always try to talk to your kids about what you can see, how things work and why they are that way.
Technology is fast-paced and ever evolving. The technology that your children will be exposed to as adults has not even been created yet. Just remember, that technology for preschoolers can be very simple non-electronic items like scissors, magnifying glasses and sticky tape.
Always try and foster new learning and upskilling in your kids. You never know where certain skills will lead and how they will combine together to form ideas as adults.
Expose your kids to as much variety surrounding STEM as possible. There is no one-single activity you have to do and instead focus on what interests your child to foster a positive relationship with this area.
STEM disciplines are worldwide. They are really everywhere. In the current age where the world seems to be getting smaller as everyone is so connected, this can only benefit your kids.
This is the scientific study of aliens and extra-terrestrial life. Many kids are interested in planets and space and with the future of potentially colonising Mars, who knows what the future will bring for the generations to come. This might be the new ‘buzz’ discipline that everyone learns.
You are more than enough to incorporate STEM ideas for your kids. It is not always necessary to need specialists in these areas. Instead, you can incorporate easy ideas at home.
Try to develop a zone or space in your house to promote STEM learning. This could be as simple as a space or box to put recycled materials for building or as complex as you want. Making it accessible and a space for everyday will promote it as a normal aspect of learning for your kids.