What is STEM and why is it important?

STEM. You see this acronym tossed around a lot these days. What’s the hubbub? Why are educators and other parents so preoccupied with it?

stem iconAs you may know already, STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. There’s a movement to boost the profile of these fields and concepts in and out of the classroom setting to help children build deeper connections and better understand them. If you’re curious about helping your child develop an interest in STEM subjects, here are few things to know.

Collaboration
Studies show group learning is highly effective when it comes to mastering STEM concepts. Whether students are working on a class project together, taking part in a robotics class or building structures from LEGO Bricks, working in a group promotes understanding and builds problem-solving skills.

Hands on
Children do their best learning when it takes place in the real world, rather than via screens and concepts. By using both their hands and minds to build, math and engineering concepts can become real.

Solving problems
Can technology be a glittering lure for kids? On one hand, yes, and it’s absolutely smart to put limits on screen time. That doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to bad-mouth your child’s love for the smart phone or tablet, though. Instead, redirect the conversation toward smart uses of technology, and which problems it can help solve. Maybe some time down the line, your child will be a part of a team that develops a technological solution that changes the world!

STEM is everywhere
Even if your child seems to have a more artistic, literary bent, STEM subjects are still a critical part of his/her day. They promote critical thinking, innovation and more.

Girl power
One talk we listened to touched on how girls are underrepresented in STEM fields. In fact, often when a girl reaches junior high, she displays decreased interest in science and math. Being aware of this phenomenon can help you, as a parent, give your daughter the encouragement she needs.

Girls

Bricks 4 Kidz offers hands-on classes that give kids the opportunity to learn important STEM concepts. For example, kids who sign up for a Bricks 4 Kidz robotics class build a robot using LEGO Bricks and other components. There simply isn’t a better way to boost your child’s interest in STEM and teach them about technology! Learn more about classes at www.bricks4kidz.com.

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