STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. It is taught in a way that each pillar is integrated together. Instead of teaching math as separate from technology or science, the concepts are taught together to deepen the child’s learning and capability.
While STEM is usually part of the primary school curriculum, we believe that there is great importance in learning this during pre-school years. Before children start primary school, we encourage their wonderful sense of curiosity and inquisitiveness which naturally leads them into exploring and learning new skills.
Each of our centres own a special set of bots to aid the STEM learning. One of the popular activities with these bots has included an “upcycling obstacle course”. We use recycled bottles, caps, boxes and other items to create obstacle courses. The children navigate the bots by programming the way they travel around the obstacle course.
Another popular activity is tracing over large letters of the alphabet using the bots. Programming the bots encourages the children’s curiosity and a belief in their own abilities. By incorporating the letter of the alphabet, this also aids in the children’s literacy comprehension.
We have also used the bots on world maps to encourage the children’s understanding of different countries and cultures. The children enjoy programming the bots to travel between the different continents and across the map to their friends on the other side.
The bots are not used by many preschools due to their cost however the benefits have already proven to be well worth it. We love seeing the children’s faces light up and their clear skill progression has been so visible. The bots assist with literacy and mathematical skills, particularly social skills, turn taking and giving directions.
The interwoven concepts of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math have immense benefit to the children by encouraging them to think critically, creatively and to be innovative in their thought processes. The inquiry based STEM learning is an important part of our curriculum at Care for Kindies.