What is STEM?
STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. According to the article Fostering a Love of Learning*, in traditional education practices, each subject is taught separate from the others. With STEM, each subject is part of the greater whole of the lesson plan so instead of teaching math separate from technology or science, the concepts work together. Teaching this way resembles knowledge used in real life.
The biggest reason for implementing STEM into elementary education is because it fosters a lifelong love of learning. Some of the benefits of a quality STEM program include:
— Knowledge is taught the way it is used in the real world.
— There is purpose and reason behind everything taught and learned.
— It is accessible to children of all levels of ability. Even within one team, various ability levels can work together and learn together.
— Opportunities are provided for students to fail and try again in a safe environment. The value of failure as a learning opportunity is emphasized and mistakes are embraced, not penalized.
— STEM lessons are an excellent way to reduce classroom anxiety and stress.
Once you understand STEM programs, how they work, and have seen the benefits they provide, it is easy to see why all children can benefit from a STEM program in elementary.
Teachers at Eckhart utilized the new STEM lab to engage and teach students during Summer School and are now looking forward to using the labs with all students during the regular school year.
* To read the article Fostering a Love of Learning to go: https://www.steampoweredfamily.com/education/stem-in-elementary/