The 9 Best STEM Programs Picked For Your Kids
1. What is STEM?
STEM is an approach to learning and development that integrates the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The umbrella term refers to fields of study related to solving problems using scientific and technical knowledge. STEM education encourages students to think critically and solve real-world problems through innovation and creativity.
Through STEM topics, students learn how to identify and analyze problems, explore solutions using research, then design and implement experiments to test their hypotheses. As inventions change quickly in our ever-evolving world, STEM education becomes more important in teaching students how to apply their skills creatively, giving them an advantage when starting a career or pursuing higher education.
2. Why should kids join STEM Projects?
Ⅰ. STEM Jobs are the Future of Our Economy
A robust STEM education is becoming more and more important to our economy. Employment in STEM occupations is projected to grow 8.8% by 2028, and healthcare occupations, which generally require a strong STEM background, are projected to grow even more. Meanwhile, non-STEM occupations will only grow by 5%.
However, STEM education doesn’t only help students who plan to go into STEM careers. The focus on logical thought processes and problem-solving allows students to develop mental habits that will help them succeed in any field.
STEM coursework challenges students to think critically and come up with their solutions. As a result, students who receive a quality STEM education are primed to become the next generation of innovators.
Ⅲ. STEM Classes Provide Unique Opportunities for Teamwork
Teamwork is one of the most underrated and important drivers of success. Living and working in the modern world usually requires some degree of collaboration, often with a large and diverse group of people.
STEM classes often involve more team activities than other coursework. Whether students are working together on a lab investigation or collaborating on an engineering challenge, they are actively developing the interpersonal and collaboration skills they will need later on.
Ⅳ. A STEM Curriculum Helps Students Develop Project Management Skills
STEM courses, especially technology and engineering courses, often involve hands-on projects. Building a simple robot, engine, or computer program often involves multiple steps that are completed over several days.
In the process of STEM education, students learn how to manage their time and break larger projects into smaller steps. That’s a skill that will help them throughout their lives, whether they are working on an office project or doing a home remodel.
Ⅴ. Recent Events Have Only Made Technology Skills More Important
The current pandemic has only reinforced the importance of technology. With more people turning to Zoom, Slack, and other tools to connect with family members and coworkers, it’s even more important to equip students to use and develop the technology.
Even after the pandemic is over, many people and workplaces will retain some of their new technology habits. Building a strong STEM foundation now will set students up for success.
3. Top 9 STEM projects picked for your kids
Ⅰ. Build A Simple Machine
Simple machines make our lives so much easier. Do your kids know all 6 simple machines? Have them do some investigative research and find a simple machine they can build from materials on hand.
Ⅱ. Conduct an egg drop
This is one of those classic STEM activities every kid should try at least once. Kids can do it at any age, with different materials and heights to mix it up.
Ⅲ. Design a biosphere
This project brings out kids’ creativity and helps them understand that everything in a biosphere is part of one big whole. You’ll be overwhelmed by what they come up with!
Ⅳ. Test your local water quality
Kids will be fascinated to discover what’s in the water in their local streams, ponds, and puddles. Student water testing kits are readily available online.
Ⅴ. Learn Basic Coding
Scientists and artists don’t seem to have much in common but if you dig a little deeper you will realize that art and science are not so separate. It is easy to see that science has changed our creative fields by advanced technology but often, artists’ new insights and perspectives that impact scientific progress are eclipse. Nowadays technology getting faster, smaller, and more complex. The sciences have started to rely on the arts more than ever for solutions and creative ideas.
As a result of the adoption of STEAM in classrooms, new teaching methods have emerged. Teachers can add arts to STEM by applying graphics to projects. They can also use the performing arts to communicate a STEM project. Students can utilize their artistic talents to generate innovative thinking.
As a pioneer in the STEM education industry, Makeblock has already been widely recognized for its advanced concepts and innovative products. It helps students get exposure to hands-on learning, challenge them to think critically and creatively, and let them apply essential content knowledge in meaningful ways. We noticed that there is a small challenge to introducing STEM and coding to the girls. This is why we designed our robots cute and easy to use, so this is not an issue anymore!
mTiny Robot Kit comes with mTiny robot, coding cards, theme maps, character masks, and a storybook. It is best for preschool-aged children and up. It allows children to play coding games screen-free with the use of a tap pen controller and coding cards to give instructions to mTiny. mTiny then moves and responds to the interactive map. The screen-free operation spares children’s eyes from the harmful effects of blue light emissions to which children are highly susceptible.
NextMaker Box includes a variety of materials, programmable electronics, project-based learning activities, and an intuitive learning system that would greatly improve children’s competence, creativity, and problem-solving skills. It comes with an online learning system that is child-friendly, interactive, and provides step-by-step procedures so that even children without coding experience could follow.
3) Codey Rocky
Codey Rockey AI Robot is suitable for children aged six and up. This AI robot lets children learn both block-based and Python programming that is supported by mBlock 5 software while playing. In one click, children may switch from block-based programming to Python for advanced programming concepts. It also includes games and applications with AI functionalities such as image and voice recognition and deep learning that will give them knowledge of how AI works.
Ⅵ. Build A Paper Chain
This incredibly simple STEM activity really gets kids thinking. The challenge? Create the longest possible paper chain using a single piece of paper. So simple and so effective.
Ⅶ. Devise a maze
Marble mazes are one of students’ favorite STEM activities! You can provide supplies like straws and paper plates for their project. Or let them use their imaginations and create marble mazes from any materials they can think of.
Ⅷ. Engineer a craft stick bridge
Here’s another one of those classic STEM activities that challenge kids to use their skills. Build a bridge with popsicle sticks and push pins, and find out which design can bear the most weight.
Ⅸ. Blow the biggest bubbles
Add a few simple ingredients to the dish soap solution to create the largest bubbles you’ve ever seen! Kids learn about surface tension as they engineer these bubble-blowing wands.