Here at Learn and Laugh Alexandria, we have made a commitment to incorporating more STEM based learning experiences.
What is STEM Education?
“STEM education is the learning of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in an interdisciplinary or integrated approach. Students gain and apply knowledge, deepen their understanding and develop creative and critical thinking skills within an authentic context. It may include inquiry and project-based learning” (http://stem-nsw.com.au)
Why STEM in Early Childhood?
STEM Education in Early Childhood Education benefits our children in many ways. We already know that positive dispositions and lifelong learning skills develop in the early years. Children often learn best through this kind of hands on learning and can develop long-term habits of thinking in more holistic ways.
How are we incorporating STEM based learning experiences?
Some elements of inquiry-based learning and mathematics are interwoven into our program such as when we make homemade playdough or other cooking experiences. We measure everything out together and discuss all elements of the volumes and materials used…and why.
We explored the concept of density through various science experiments including “The Liquid Tower Experiment” or our “Sinker/Floaters Experiment”. We learned about gravity and velocity through several experiments such as “The Ramps Experiment”.
We enjoyed exploring Geometry through ‘String Art’. This STEM project provided us with an opportunity to introduce mathematical concepts like Geometry and Fractions. Every day is a new adventure and the best part is that the children are having such fun learning.