Best Ways to Teach STEM to Children
- Feb 08, 2016
An acronym that is formed from Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics is called STEM. This acronym came into common usage shortly after the inter-agency meeting held at US National Science Foundation based on the topic of science education, chaired by Rita Colwell, the NSF director at that time. STEM education carries utmost importance. It's basically the future of our children which will certainly reflect in shaping our country's future as well. STEM shapes our experiences every day; it is everywhere. It is therefore necessary to explain the importance of STEM education to children. They should be introduced to the wonders that STEM contains, the underlying principle that exists behind every technology in our daily life.
There are certain ways in which STEM education can be taught to a child in an effective manner. Some of these ways are listed below.
Encourage Your Students to be Responsible
The development of new rules and roles which emphasize the responsibility of students regarding certain phenomena of science should be introduced in class. You can actually check this article to know how this can be achieved. Act like a football manager. You are on the sidelines and your players are on the pitch. You are just guiding them to the goal, motivating them, imparting clear instructions. But the main role is played by your players and in this case, your students. In this way, your students will become self-sufficient. Say for example, you are teaching “titration (a Chemistry experiment)” to your students. A slightest drop of excess chemical from the burette is enough to alter your final result. Teach your students to be responsible when they are involved in this practical experiment so that they get close to the perfect result as much as possible.
You can ask a number of questions to the students with a host of possible solutions. Direct students off to search for answers. This will develop their ability of critical thinking. The students will be intrigued as well.
Promote Hands-on Experience
Learning through doing and reflection is very compelling. That experience is captivating as well as enthralling. Hands-on experience will enable your students to actually view certain scientific phenomena included in their curriculum, thereby developing a clear understanding of the underlying principle. The seemingly abstract phenomenon will transform into something very palpable.
Point out the Various Applications of STEM in our daily Life
You can take examples of various applications of technology and science in our daily life to explain certain principles. For example-
You can refer to the example of an oarsman pushing the shore away to set his boat into motion in order to explain Newton's Third law of motion “To every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction”.
Similarly, there are countless examples in our daily life and you can refer to them to explain certain scientific phenomena, principles and laws.
Promote an Environment of STEM Outside School
You can achieve this by a number of ways:
- There are various science and technological TV channel programs. There's a program called F.A.Q. on Pogo that is strongly related to various Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics topics. National Geographic Channel and Discovery Channel have a number of programs for children on the STEM topics.
- You can try an experiment with your child after seeing it demonstrated on these programs on TV or a video. Please make sure to take all the safety measures.
- Use puzzles, building blocks and games as a part of your child's activity.
- You can enroll your child into courses like Robotics, Coding, 3D printing, Mathematics etc. for a more effective hands-on learning experience of STEM.
- You should also engage in discussions on various science-related news, topics etc. with your children.
Try to make your students collaborate among themselves as a part of their interaction in class. Teamwork skills promote leadership qualities and also heighten their sense of awareness. They have a heightened sense of purpose when they are parts of a team.
Failure is a part of every experiment. Please remember that “Rome was not built in a day.” When you are taking risks, failure is bound to come your way. Don't discourage your students if they encounter any failure. Ask them to learn from their mistakes and avoid repeating the same in the forthcoming experiment. “The darkest hour is just before the dawn.”
Last but not the least, keep faith in your students
If you keep faith in your students, they will eventually repay you with their success. They themselves will turn up with more creative solutions of their own, to certain problems. The best thing will be to see their faces after they successfully bring their ideas to life. You will see the look of joy and satisfaction on their faces, and you will feel like you are on cloud nine.
Futurite aims to bring high quality STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education to school students in India. Our mission is to use cutting-edge technologies such as Robotics and 3D Printing to impart a thorough grounding in STEM subjects and concepts to school students while making their learning experience fun, engaging and hands-on. Futurite has been operating in Dubai successfully (as Premier Genie) since a number of years, working with over 25 of the top international schools and teaching 1000+ students. Futurite has been founded by alumni from IIT, IIM, JU and HEC Paris.
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