STEM+Art or STEAM is an acronym for science, technology, engineering, math and art. It is an educational approach which integrates learning of these disciplines through problem solving, asking questions, and exploring the world. From the early years, children spontaneously engage in STEAM activities on a regular basis. Children are natural investigators who are eager to explore the world around them. We can further promote learning related to STEAM through providing meaningful multisensory learning experiences – seeing, hearing, tasting, touching, and smelling – and through exploration, play, and building curiosity as part of project works. According to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), guiding and supporting children’s curiosity about the world early in life by providing opportunities for children to acquire fundamental STEAM skills and encouraging them to observe, problem-solve, and discover – can help young children to be more successful in all areas of learning later on. Following are some of the examples of how we integrate STEAM as part of the curriculum.
Science and Technology
Providing nature materials and age appropriate hands-on science activities help children develop vocabularies, basic understanding of natural concepts, and spark a life-long interest and concern for our environment. Energy, light and sound, habitat, life science, physical science, and nutrition are some of the topics that we will be touching up on.
Blocks and manipulative toys offer rich opportunity for early math and engineering learning, as well as social, emotional, language, motor and cognitive skills development. Children can explore cause and effect and learn about gravity, stability, weight, and balance while playing with blocks and manipulative toys.
Hands-on activities to explore quantity, size, and shape help young children to build the foundation for abstract mathematical learning. Some of the activities include counting, measuring, comparing quantities, sorting, classification, recognizing shapes, numeracy, geometry, and fractions.
Child-guided art and craft activities encourage each child’s creative expression, develop fine motor skills, and strengthen their shape, line, and color knowledge. By providing a variety of materials such as paint, collage, crayons, and markers children can choose to express their imaginations in their own unique ways.
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