What is Giving Compass?
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Giving Compass' Take:
• The author discusses why it's important to engage young kids on STEM learning by using creative means that focus on what children enjoy, rather than traditional pathways like memorization.
• Why is it important to engage the younger generations in STEM? How will it help the future workforce?
• Read about how donors can support STEM education.
Introducing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) lessons to students in the early grades — with a focus on the underlying forces and processes at work, as well as creative elements — is a way to loop a more diverse pool of students into the STEM fields, according to The Hechinger Report.
One curriculum, the Museum of Science in Boston's "Engineering is Elementary," has been used by more than 15 million 6- to 11-year-olds since 2003, and it focuses specifically on reaching younger students with principles of design, imagination and experimentation before they’ve had a chance to decide whether or not they’re a so-called "math person," for example.
To get students interested in pursuing STEM, and perhaps one day even a career, it’s important to expose them as early as possible to these topics in engaging ways. Forcing students to memorize the periodic table likely isn’t the best tactic, destined instead to glaze young eyes over very quickly.
Curriculum designers may want to consider what children enjoy and then think of ways to incorporate those ideas and examples into STEM lessons.
Introducing students to coding and robotics at a young age can also be extremely helpful at seeding an early STEM interest. Along with its famous line of construction toys, LEGO makes coding kits that allow students to build their own robots.
These, and others from companies such as Kano and Piper, turn imaginative play into a tangible result by allowing students to see the code they've written come to life via the mechanisms they've crafted.
Read the full article about how to get students excited about STEM by Lauren Barack at Education Dive