Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM)
From their earliest years, children engage with the world in ways that can promote learning related to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). They balance blocks to build a wall; bat at a mobile to make it spin; and push and pull magnets together and apart. Research shows that the earlier we guide and support children's wonder about the world and thereby identify opportunities for children to acquire foundational STEM skills the more successful they are in all areas of learning later on. Equipping children with these skills will be essential in preparing them for their rapid and ever evolving world.
At an early age, children are becoming increasingly proficient in developing their digital literacy by using technological tools to accomplish a task; making a picture, playing a game, recording a story, taking a photo, filming, coding, robotics or engaging in other age-appropriate learning activities. Technology tools and interactive media are one more source of exploration and mastery that we will incorporate within our centre. Technology and media should be used to support learning, and to expand young children’s access to new content, (Guernsey, 2011).
Our centre will provide appropriate innovative experiences where effective uses of intentional technology and media are active, hands-on, engaging, and empowering; giving children control; providing adaptive scaffolds to ease the accomplishment of tasks; and are used as one of many options to support and encourage children’s learning and independence. Our children will have a range of integrated inquiry based and project based learning opportunities to tinker, research, design and engineer. They will learn to use higher order thinking through solving problems and creating solutions using sustainable resources and appropriate technologies.
Research shows that most children have formed an opinion (either positive or negative) about science by the time they reach the age of seven. As educators, we model our own curiosity by making observations about the world around us, asking questions, and trying to explain why things are the way they are. Just by being curious, observing and asking how things work, we can peak a child’s natural curiosity and create a desire to want to learn more.