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What is STEM and why are we hearing about it at the early childhood level? These may be questions you are asking and we know this video of our Prime Time PRE-K and older 3 students visiting a STEM lab in Maywood will explain it all. If a picture says a thousand words, then this video will explain why the concept of combining Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics experiences and putting the learner at the center of this experience is a concept that we feel is worthwhile.
STEM stands for SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING and MATHEMATICS but it is much more than an acronym. STEM really is a philosophy. In a broader sense, STEM is a way of thinking about how educating our children at all levels—and this includes parents, as well—is beneficial in helping students integrate knowledge across disciplines. An important part of STEM is encouraging young children to think in a more connected way.
Our knowledge of how children learn has grown substantially since we were students. Because we now understand that success in learning is aided by the student being at the center of the experience, making connections across disciplines helps children acquire knowledge. Children need to be presented opportunities to learn material in different settings and through different senses. Our daycare environment at Prime Time is a perfect setting to have this happen. A more routine traditional approach of teaching topics in isolation does not always support the ways that children learn best.
STEM calls on parents and educators alike to give children chances to investigate an idea in a variety of settings. Learning is strengthened when they learn the same skills, ideas, and concepts in different contexts.