What is STEM Learning and Why is it Important?
At Kids & Company, we focus on teaching our children using the Emergent Curriculum philosophy — teaching that focuses on being responsive to children's interests to create meaningful learning experiences. Emergent Curriculum is our foundation, and one of the ways we teach this is by implementing STEM learning.
We call it STREAM because we also include reading and art. Our Preschool classrooms are full of STREAM activities, to encourage the children to wonder, problem solve, analyze and enjoy. Let us dive deeper into what STREAM learning entails.
What is STREAM?
STREAM is an abbreviation for science, technology, reading, engineering, art, and math. STREAM learning engages children to think critically at a young age, equipping them with the ability to problem solve, be creative, collaborate with their peers, and encourage connections in their community. At Kids & Company, we include art and reading to STEM learning to further encourage our preschoolers to be creative, curious, and improve their critical/innovative thinking skills.
Here's What it Looks Like
S – Science
Science is the process of learning about and understanding the natural world. Our science activities include exploring water, sand, and other natural materials like rocks and soil.
T – Technology
Technology activities can include computers, but also can be tools that allow the children to gain understanding on how to make jobs easier. Technology has existed long before the digital age, with simple machines like scissors, gears, wheels, and pulleys are hands on ways to experience technology.
R – Reading
Reading is the process of taking in the sense or meaning of letters, symbols, etc., especially by sight or touch.
E – Engineering
Engineering is the process of building and designing something to solve a problem. Engineering activities regularly happen when our children are playing with blocks, as the child plans and designs structures and buildings.
A – Art
Art is the process of designing creative solutions to a problem. Open-ended process art activities allow for new ways to develop self-expression and to experiment with a variety of materials.
M – Mathematics
Math is the process of understanding relationships among patterns, numbers, and shapes. Math is usually the most recognizable aspect of the STREAM learning as it quantifies materials in the real world.
Why we use STREAM at Kids & Company
We use STREAM learning to ensure we are influencing our children’s future success. By the time preschoolers today are looking for jobs, the workforce will look completely different. STREAM learning and activities will prepare the children of today to be able to adapt and conquer these changes. STREAM learning does not require a lot of time, or the use of fancy materials. Most often, we use common household items to encourage our children to think outside the box and stretch their natural curiosity. Through gentle guidance, we use open-ended questions to encourage our children to examine, investigate, analyze, and evaluate different subjects. Through the entire STREAM process, we hope to help foster a love of learning and discovery in our children.