STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) is a way to make a sustainable environment and development which leads people towards innovation and creativity. Its importance and interest should develop in children from the basic level. Because kids are more creative in that age rather than other ones. So how we can develop an interest in these STEM activities ??? STEM activities for kids, STEM activities for preschool, Importance of STEM Activities.
By Hunain Shahid
How to perform STEM activities?
How to make STEM a part of your everyday classroom can be overwhelming and really fantastic.It does not be so difficult! STEM can easily be incorporated into your classroom with a few easy steps.
The most importantly it requires a shift in language.Ianguage like: trial, experiment, challenge, design, and collaborate. This is particularly easy in science class, where you can let the kids explore scientific ideas, but with a little switch in thinking you can make it happen in other subjects too like Mathematics, Social studies etc.
Instead of just sharing information through books, videos, and discussions; present ideas as questions or problems.As you know students are curious to solve the problems by nature ,So it would help them alot and they play a role in activities attentively.
Think about ways you might be able to group your science, math, social studies, and reading blocks into a bundle that revolves around a problem that kids can research and solve.let suppose,
1) Math idea
Let kids come up with an item to sell and have them make it. Use fake money and give them an hour to buy and sell. Let them experience buying, selling, bartering, and trading. Social studies and math can be combined and students can experience advertising, supply, demand, profit, and loss in a personal way.In this way, they know the importance of country’s economy as well and work for the development of country .They can learn to explain how and why the math matters. It is a fun way for them to experience math and social studies in a way they will remember forever.
2) Physics idea
Idea would be to have kids the practice measurement, volume, mass, and area by challenging them to design something to hold some kind of item (the item can be whatever you want: cotton balls, beads, erasers,small wire etc use what you have). Give them apparatus like Vernier caliper ,screw guage etc so that they know the working of these instruments theoretically and practically.They will probably learn the concepts faster because it is a hands-on engaging lesson.
3) Language and Reading idea
Incorporate technology by having the kids create a blog or a vlog as they are reading. They can make it in Google Docs so other kids can comment and expand on what they have written. They can also do things like make an iMovie or another creation.
You can do non-fiction research and partner it with a science concept/experiment. Kids can learn about how scientists and engineers come up with new ideas by learning about what others have tried, and then using creativity and trial/error.
4) Polymerization idea
Small small monomer combine to form a long polymer.Kids will have to combine glue, water, contact lens solution, and baking soda to create a polymer––more commonly knows as slime! This will help the kids to understand the material formation and it’s importance.
5) Plant a Garden
Gardens grow more than just fruits and vegetables; they can plant the seeds for early STEM education. From planning a garden bed to counting seeds, this project hits all the marks. You might even find yourself talking nitrogen, precipitation, and more advanced subjects.
6) Engineer with Marshmallow Shapes
Develop engineering skills while constructing basic shapes out of toothpicks and marshmallows. You can build shapes using the marshmallow as a connector to hold the toothpicks together. Challenge your kid to invent new shapes or build three dimensionally. Make a castle, or a car! Get creative.Its really fantastic for the kids.
7) Host a Building Contest
Teamwork makes the dreamwork! When have you ever seen a construction site with ONE person? NEVER! Pool your resources (blocks, cardboard boxes, Manga-tiles, Duplos) and host a construction.This activity will creat mutual cooperation and teamwork in kids.
8) Make Magic, ice melt Idea
Demonstrate “change of state” by melting ice with salt. Fill a bowl with water, and let it freeze overnight. Add a few drops of liquid water color if you want to color your ice. Remove the ice from the bowl and place on a tray. Simply shake table salt over the ice and watch the magic happen. Talk about the properties of each item that caused this change of state.
9) Floating or Sinking Idea
Fill a small tub with water. Gather objects from around your house or yard and place them in the tub, pool, or sink. Ask you kids if the object sank or floated and see if you can figure out why. Increase the challenge to see if they can predict which will happen before you drop it in.
10) Play with Baking Soda Science
A little baking soda and vinegar can open a whole world of fun to tiny scientists. Cover the bottom of a foil tray with baking soda. Fill an ice cube tray with vinegar––for extra fun you can add a drop of food coloring to each compartment. Using a dropper or pipette (great for fine motor skills, too!), watch the baking soda fizz and froth in a chemical reaction.
11) Sprout Seeds in a Jar
Pour about a teaspoon of Chia seeds into a mason jar and cover with about one cup of water. Using an elastic band, secure a piece of cheese cloth on top and allow to sit over night. In the morning, drain the water. Sprouting will occur in a day or two.This activity will amuse the kids to built creativity.
12) Make Pyramids idea with Egg cartons
If you ever get the feeling that kids would build the next Great Wall if only you had enough blocks, then egg carton building blocks are for kids! Construct towers, pyramids, and more. This will amuse the kids and create a spirit in kids.