STEM instruction encourages children to explore their environment to become critical thinkers, problem solvers, innovators, and inventors. This exploratory mindset helps children navigate their world in a way that equips them for meaningful learning throughout the rest of their lives. Our STEM coordinator works with administration to create a program that supports ALL children in the school, from infants through elementary.
This is a progressive STEM model that continues to build during the years that the child is with us at PBCA. Ways that STEM is incorporated per age group are as follows:
- Young STEM learners understand their world through everyday play. Children are given age-appropriate materials to encourage sensory experiences, which help them to explore, touch and feel their environment. This early stage of learning is filled with multiple sensory experiences, which support brain development and growth.
- As children continue through the years, they are provided more sophisticated opportunities to problem solve using STEM. How does a caterpillar become a butterfly? How does a seed become a plant? These are examples of how children continue to explore through STEM activities.
- Older children will be challenged with many “real-world” scenarios that they must solve by using their cognitive thinking and peer cooperation. Whether they are predicting and logging the paths of local sea turtles, or are creating model homes that can withstand hurricane winds, they learn to use their prior knowledge to create solutions to everyday issues.