In recent years, the concept of STEM-focused education has grown tremendously in popularity. There is also a strong emphasis on introducing activity-based learning at various levels. According to studies, the majority of future jobs will be in STEM fields. Thus, introducing STEM to kids at a young age is like opening up a world of possibilities for them and developing the skills they will need to succeed in the 21st – century.
What is STEM Education?
STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths. It is a type of education whose philosophy is based on allowing kids to learn by integrating knowledge from various disciplines and encouraging them to think in a connected and holistic manner. It prepares kids to develop diverse interests in any industry and allows them to develop all the valuable skill sets for a successful career ahead.
Here are five reasons why STEM Education is important
1. Fosters curiosity
STEM is all about asking questions. Every step of the learning encourages kids to ask “why?” and “how?“. STEM allows them to use their imaginations to come up with creative solutions. Because kids are naturally inquisitive, introducing stem activities further enhances and directs their thinking power in the right direction.
2. Enhances creativity
STEM education encourages kids to think outside the box and to come up with innovative solutions to complex problems. It makes no distinction between the right and wrong ways to approach a problem. Thus, it allows them to think freely and explore different options, training their minds to act differently whenever a problem arises.
3. Improves critical thinking
It encourages kids to solve problems by actively engaging in and understanding the problem at hand, and then applying logic to solve it. It teaches them how to think, analyse, and evaluate any given information through observation, experience, reasoning, and communication at an early age. As a result, they become better decision makers in the future.
4. Enhances cognitive skills
STEM focuses on improving the brain muscles with the types of exercises included, which improve the ability to learn, handle stressors, improve decision making ability, and recall facts and memories. This also helps to improve the speed and quality of problem-solving skills, as well as make them mentally strong for life.
5. Teaches team collaboration
STEM education also emphasises collaboration and teamwork to teach kids the value of communication and leadership in achieving common goals. As a result, it boosts their confidence to easily gel with anyone without any difficulties that most adults find tough to do.
STEM in early childhood education
Kids are naturally inquisitive, and STEM is all about leveraging that curiosity to help their overall development. Childhood development experts strongly advise replacing the passive method of learning with more hands-on learning. It involves allowing a kid to experience and learn by providing him/her with opportunities to learn the same concept in a variety of settings.
Teaching STEM in the early years assists the kid in developing into a person who understands and connects concepts, uses analysis and reasoning skills, and applies these concepts and reasoning in the real world.
So, the most important question is, at what age should kids be introduced to STEM?
It is believed that the brain grows faster in a kid’s first five years than at any other time in his life. So the best time to contribute to their development is during their early childhood years, because development during these early years lays the groundwork for lifelong learning, behaviour, and health. As a result, it is strongly advised to introduce age-appropriate STEM learning kits in the early years.
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