Significance of STEM in Building Tomorrow’s Innovators

Stem Activity in Nassau County for Kids

Globalization has enhanced the exchange of educational practices and standards, leading to the growth and widespread adoption of STEM-based subjects. The role of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) is pivotal in pioneering technological advancements to address global challenges.

STEM-based learning and the use of computational power can accelerate discoveries and provide creative ways to work across disciplines to solve complex world problems. STEM education from an early age can help build the foundation for future innovations and a problem-solving culture. However,  children will require encouragement, opportunity, and tools to upskill and thrive in a future influenced by technology.

 

STEM Building Innovators

The enrichment classes for kids by Mindasium provide a supportive environment for children where they receive rewarding STEM experiences to become innovators of the future.

 

Project-Based Learning

Project-based STEM learning provides an opportunity for children to demonstrate their knowledge through problem-solving and completing complex projects.

One interesting project that can teach children about the importance of solar energy, renewables, and alternative energy is making their solar oven. With materials such as aluminum foil, an empty pizza box, black paper, a ruler, a heat-resistant dish, a thermometer, marshmallows, and chocolate, children can make a simple solar oven that conducts heat to cook food. The project helps children learn basic life skills and how resource scientists and physicists think to solve global energy issues.

Another interesting project that can help children think about renewables is making their own water filtration plant from materials such as activated charcoal, salt, uncooked pasta, and coffee filters. Children begin by adding dirt, soil, vinegar, and food coloring to tap water while putting cheesecloth on the bottom half of a plastic bottle. Passing water through the filter, activated charcoal and salt can filter the contents of water. NASA uses the same filtration process with obvious modifications to filter water in remote villages, as well as in the space station, giving an idea about the life of astronauts living in the International Space Station (ISS). Children can get motivated to pursue careers as astronauts, space engineers, astrophysicists, geologists, and biologists.

 

Math and Computer Coding

The use of mathematical and computational thinking has become increasingly important as it prepares children for future careers, innovation, and creativity. Coding is one way to help children learn about systems thinking and the importance of following processes. Coding helps break larger tasks into small, more manageable components while applying debugging, looping, sequencing, and cause-and-effect relationships to logically analyze and solve real-life problems.

Coding and modeling projects are an exciting way to learn about planetary motion, ecological systems, and natural events while using automation to let the computer program handle repetitive tasks. Coding platforms such as LEGO Mindstorm, Scratch, Minecraft, Tynker, and Bitsbot introduce children to coding projects while improving their digital literacy, understanding of technology, critical thinking, abstract thinking, and problem-solving skills.

Both Minecraft and LEGO are used at Mindnasium’s kid’s enrichment classes at Nassau County to engage children in interesting coding activities that teach about shapes, symmetry, geometry, space exploration, and principles of measurement. The use of an intuitive and visual coding environment can be used to program robots to complete simple tasks, automate structure, and build simple games and video animations. These activities prepare future innovators as 3D modelers, software developers, data scientists, automotive engineers, astronauts, mathematicians, and aerodynamicists.

 

Conclusion

Digital connectivity and access to affordable technology have made it easier for educators to implement STEM-based learning. STEM-based education can help develop children to become future innovators, filled with problem-solving, creativity, critical thinking, leadership, and entrepreneurship skills. It prepares them to become more resilient with the ability to think independently and find innovative solutions to complex real-life problems.