Many parents and teachers wonder, at what age is it appropriate to start teaching STEM? And how can we implement these concepts into early childhood education? The answer is: It is never too early to start STEM education.
As the world quickly evolves into a much more digitally-driven landscape, the jobs that we do are changing. There is less need for occupations such as travel agents whose work can be done with a computer, some WiFi and even chatbots these days. There is, however, a growing need for other jobs, and STEM jobs are in particularly high demand.
According to the US Department of Commerce, STEM jobs have more than tripled in number over the last ten years. And while most careers are set to grow by 9.8% – STEM based jobs are set to expand by a whopping 17% into the future.
So it is important that our kids get the fundamental grasp of STEM skill development from as early on in their lives as possible. It can be difficult to know exactly how to teach your child STEM skills, so here is a brief overview.
What is STEM?
According to LiveScience, STEM “…is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines — science, technology, engineering, and mathematics — in an interdisciplinary and applied approach. Rather than teach the four disciplines as separate and discrete subjects, STEM integrates them into a cohesive learning paradigm based on real-world applications.”
So in early childhood development teaching your child STEM skills is all about getting to grips with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in order to give them a solid handle on the subjects before they reach school.
Why do we need to teach STEM to young children?
There has been a fundamental shift in education facilities to provide STEM learning from an early age to ensure that children will be able to develop to their full potential in these subjects. By making it more available all over the nation, educators are also helping to eliminate the gender and ethnic gaps that are generally found in these industries.
In December 2015, the Australian Federal Government announced a National Innovation and Science Agenda. The mantra was to “inspire all Australians – from pre-schoolers to the broader community – to engage with STEM”.
The program was given almost $65 million for the professional development of teachers, and to pay for specialised STEM programs in classrooms. There was $5 million in the 2014-15 Budget for similar programs, called “Primary Connections” and “Science by Doing”. State governments have also committed significant money to the STEM program.
By teaching children STEM, we are equipping them with the necessary skills to join in making the world a better and more exciting place. Science is all around us and in everything that we do. Engineering is becoming more prominent in global warming issues as we look for green energy solutions and buildings, technology is simply growing bigger in our everyday lives and mathematics is used numerous times a day.
How to teach STEM to children
Teaching STEM to young kids doesn’t have to be as complicated as you think it is. Simply teaching children about the world around them and getting them actively involved is teaching them essential science skills.
Using educational toys that encourage engineering, maths or technology can also be used to encourage children to take an interest in these subjects. Miniland Educational has a number of products that they developed specifically for STEM development in young children.
Have a look at a few of these suggestions:
- Activity Clock
- Math Colour Rings
- Maze Balance Board
- Mosaics Set
- Activity Shapes
- Activity Buttons
- Marble Run
- Math Turtles
- Mosaic Pegs
- Creative Nature
- Water Mystery
- Mosaic Art
These are just some of the Miniland Educational toys, and there is an endless number of activities that you can do to teach your child STEM skills in preparation for a bright future in the industry. For more of our specially developed educational toys or expert advice on skill development in children, please contact us and we will be happy to help in any way that we can.
Miniland Educational believes that your child’s playtime is as important as their educational hours, and their toys strive to serve both of these important aspects of their lives. They understand that your children are growing up in a digital age and that learning through technology is an essential part of a successful education.
Play Miniland is an integrated approach that combines educational toys with digital resources that provides a well-rounded overall education in a fun and practical way.
Contact us for more information and advice and to see some of their amazing toys, which are all developmentally appropriate for every age. You can learn more here http://www.axistoys.com/Brands/Miniland
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About Axis Toys
Since 2004, Axis Toys has specialised in distributing quality imports for Australia and New Zealand within the toy, gift and lifestyle markets sourced locally and from Sweden, Finland, Germany, Poland Spain and China. Our quality product range is primarily niche oriented – each product bringing a very strong point of difference to its category. All our suppliers’ products conform to the latest safety standards and we are able to supply disclaimers for each supplier to verify this fact.
Axis Toys is the exclusive distributor in Australia and New Zealand for DoodleArt, Goetz, Lundby Dollhouses, Micki, Miniland Educational, PlayBox, Plasto, Sassi Junior, Chic Bayer 2000, Skrallen, Leolandia, Kiddus, Cayro, Wooden Story, Little + Sleepy and Goldfish Gifts. They are also the developers of the ColourAway and Scribbla brands. They are the exclusive distributor for WWF in Australia and the agent for Steiff Bears in Australia and New Zealand. Axis Toys is a member of the Australian Toy Association.