STE(A)M may seem boring to some, but in reality it is both exciting, educational and fun for students young and old. Here at Momentum, we strive to create a learning environment that promotes learning, so incorporating STE(A)M is not as hard as it may seem to have in an early childhood classroom.
Meet Ms. Jill
My name is Ms. Jill, and I am a teacher in the Lively Learners classroom at Momentum’s Germantown Campus. I have been working in education for the past 7 years, spending a majority of that time focusing on science education. This means that I love working on science based activities in my classroom, especially ones that are hands on that allow the kids to get messy! I like to try and incorporate STEM into as many activities as I can. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. This can also become part of STEAM (A-Art). There is always a lack of STEM jobs, especially in terms of female STEM jobs. It is important to start the love for these fields early, so there is no better time to start then in early childhood.
Science itself is a broad title to cover many areas of study that can be covered in an early childhood classroom. Examples include: veterinary, environmental, chemistry, biology, scientific method, astronomy, weather, and physics.
An important thing to note is that technology doesn’t always have to be things with an on/off switch. Technology can be as simple as introducing a new tool for children to experience and use. Examples of technology to include in science centers: hand lenses, tweezers, pipettes, rulers, tape measures, balance, scale, cameras, tablet, computer.
An important thing to note about engineering is that it doesn’t just have to be about buildings and bridges. Engineering can be designing any type of structure, even toy design! These can be 3D or 2D: Play-doh, craft stick, pipe cleaners, crayons and paper
Mathematics can be more than teaching kids about numbers in early childhood. It can include recognizing and identifying money, sorting, patterns, shapes, etc.
Art can be tied into STEM very easily! Drawing ideas/designs, building with 3D art materials, displaying photographs of process/items of STEM (photos of flowers, clouds, etc)
Why do STEM?
STEM is a great way to teach children about different aspects of life beyond the early childhood basics. STEM covers so many topics that can benefit all areas of learning and growth. STEM also helps children to explore their world in new ways. It can easy to be add it into play without the children even knowing!
Cross-Curriculum learning using STEM
Using stem you can create many lessons that cover several curriculum field requirements.
Example for Preschool/Pre-K classrooms (Toddlers/Twos modifications are in parentheses):
You are tasked to build a wind proof building 2 feet tall. (Build a tower)
Pipe Cleaners (frosting)
Leaf Blower (blow air using hand/mouth)
S-Wind Test (leaf blower) (Wind Test-Blowing)
T-Tape measure/ruler (Ruler-model use)
E-design a building (building)
M-cost of materials-assign a cost, measuring, how many materials (counting number of objects used)
Art-Sketch design (draw building)
Language-Present design (share building with class)
Incorporating STE(A)M into a classroom is easier than you think. Often times we are teaching these concepts without even realizing it, especially when it comes to play. Having a well stocked science and math area and encouraging children to play and explore will help them develop not only a love for learning, but for STE(A)M fields as well. In Lively Learners, I encourage my children to explore our science center during free choice play. Additionally, I am sure to incorporate these concepts into my lesson plans as it pertains to the theme each week. My children love doing science experiments/activities large and small. They may not realize that they are learning science because they are just two and a half and having fun, but seeing the looks on their faces when they see a successful experiment lets me know, I am teaching them those important science concepts while they are having fun.
Momentum Early Learning, the new standard in education and child care, provides unparalleled excellence of care for children through an open, friendly and nurturing culture. Momentum Early Learning provides care and teaching for children ages six weeks to twelve years old. Momentum Early Learning’s pledge of excellence is based on four core values: safety, education, cleanliness and technology. Families interested in learning more about Momentum Early Learning can call the Sussex Campus at 262.820.2595 or the Germantown Campus at 262.415.8047 or visit Momentum’s website at www.momentumearlylearning.com.