Inquisitive, imaginative, and playful: inherent descriptors of preschool aged children. Every single day the world offers them new experiences, new learning, and new opportunities to discover their passions. In fact, the common maxim, the world is your playground, is never truer than for a child in the incredibly impressionable years prior to age seven – the years when the human brain develops more rapidly than at any other time in life.
STEAM is an approach to educating children that focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. It sounds academic, but if you think about it, children naturally gravitate to these topics when left to their own imagination. Further, STEAM activities promote a cross of right-brain and left-brain thinking and supports hand-eye coordination and motor skills without children even realizing they are strengthening these capabilities.
Science – A way of viewing the world around us. Science is found digging in the dirt for worms, observing the pattern of the moon in the sky, or analyzing the similarities and differences between a bird and an airplane.
Technology – Not just the use of computers, tablets and the Internet; technology refers to the TOOLS we use. Legos or blocks to build, pencils and crayons to create, or tying a string around an object to pull it are all basic examples of technology that enable us to complete a task.
Engineering – The ability to analyze and brainstorm to solve a problem within some field is the crux of engineering. Engineering is found in innovation such as putting sticks or a wooden board across a puddle in order to cross without getting wet.
Art – Simply put, art is a means for expressing ourselves, whether it is in the classical sense of painting or drawing, using words, by constructing an object, coding, making music...you get the idea.
Mathematics – Numbers, patterns, graphing, identifying probability, mathematics encourages the practice of logic.
STEAM in and of itself is not new or ground-breaking. It is gender inclusive, and allows boy and girls to equally explore and investigate the world around them. At Weems Creek, we believe participating in STEAM activities is like internalizing the directional points N/S/E/W. Once a child has his or her compass, it will guide him on his personal journey – wherever that may lead!