Stem is The combination of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math. STEAM activities help promote essential 21st-century skills, which is important in nurturing our children to be innovative thinkers and problem solvers.
Why is it important to incorporate STEM education in early childhood development?
"The early childhood years, birth to age 5, have long been accepted as the most critical point in neurological or brain development. Studies by the National Science Teachers Association show that young children learn through active exploration—and the drive to observe, interact, discover, and explore is inherent in their development.
Experts further describe that this sensitive period of development must be utilized to start children on the right path to be successful in STEM, and other content areas. “Once these neurological pathways are developed, they go through a pruning process in which synapses that are not used are eliminated."
In addition to developing an interest and knowledge base for STEM and enhanced inquiry skills, experts say that science instruction improves abilities in subjects outside of STEM, including literacy, language-learning, math, and executive functioning.
How should STEM be incorporated into early childhood education?
Experts say that the scientific inquiry process in STEM areas should include children engaging in active exploration opportunities that allow them to participate in the scientific process. Educators can create science experiences for young learners that include hands-on experiences that allow children to explore their curiosities and interests and develop and test theories in everyday situations".
References: (2017, April 21) UNLV article, Why stem education must begin in early childhood education