S.T.E.A.M at Home
Our 21st century children are S.T.E.A.M (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) ready before they even walk into a classroom. They are curious, problem-solvers, they ask multiple questions and adapt to technology like it is part of their environment. As a parent, there are so many S.T.E.A.M activities that occur around your house, you would be surprised. One of the biggest “everyday” activities that children experience through the Engineering Design Process is watching their parents become Food Engineers with their creativity of meal planning. Although that’s just one aspect of being a Food Engineer, this daily exercise can spark the curiosity of any child interested in changing the tastes, looks, smells and texture of various foods for people, and animals too. Think about all the fun pastimes your child enjoys that can be turned into engineering professions; builders and designers can become Civil Engineers, car and airplane lovers can turn into tomorrow’s Automotive or Aerospace Engineers, while plant and garden enthusiasts can develop into Agricultural Engineers. Let’s not forget the soil lovers and rock collectors who could enjoy a career as a Geological Engineer. These hobbies may seem far-fetched to what a child may pursue in years to come, however, their childhood experiences can shape how they view the world and how they choose to play a part in making it a better place to live for everyone.
With limited time in the school day with standards, objectives, workstations, guided reading, math groups and so much more to be completed, I encourage parents to capture some teaching opportunities at home with S.T.E.A.M, especially the Engineering! It gives room to develop critical thinking skills, creativity and open-ended conversations that can be priceless! Children all over the world are creating some amazing games with technology as well as other things. Take for instance, last week we read a story about students at a Science Fair and what they developed using the Engineering Design Process. We enjoyed the story so much we extended the learning to the home by creating robots just like the children we read about. All kinds of creative ideas came to life as big robots walked in and small ones too. Trash-eating robots, homework-helping robots and even a game-playing robot just to name a few. Robots with Lego, robots in foil, robots in paper and robots that fall. Some are still standing, some have taken a chair, most importantly, they all are right here! Feel free to stop by and give them a peak, they’re on show in our classroom for only one week.