What is STEM?

STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.  It is a way of learning that encourages children to explore, observe, ask questions, predict, experiment and ‘think outside the box.’ STEM-based education encourages a curriculum that is driven by problem-solving, discovery, and exploratory learning.

Why is STEM Important?

Our knowledge of how people learn has grown substantially over the last few decades. We now understand that success in learning requires the child to be at the center of the experience, making connections across disciplines and contextual settings. Children need to be presented opportunities to learn the same material in different settings and from different perspectives. A teacher’s role is to offer support to the child when it is needed, and to guide and facilitate flow of ideas. This approach is a departure from the teaching topics in isolation and caters to the way children learn and develop best.

Example of and Integrated STEM Curriculum in the Preschool Classroom

Theme:  Bridges

  • Learn about engineers and construction workers

  • Read and act out the Three Billy Goats Gruff story as a class

  • Explore the mechanics of a draw bridge with a pulley and levers

  • Experiment with building sturdy bridges using materials such as cups, playdough, straws, toothpicks and gum drops and block.

  • Compares heights, lengths and depths of different bridges constructed in class

  • Take a field trip to see different styles and uses of bridges in our community