THE GATOR WATCH GUIDE TO STEM EDUCATION

STEM learning. STEM is a type of learning that may sound entirely foreign to many parents. It was never a part of our education back in the day but is now a vital part of the next generations curriculum. You might be surprised to learn that STEM is pretty straight forward and centred around understanding a set of core skills that you probably use daily. There lots of brilliant ways we can help our kids learn these skills by being outside, being social and being active. More often than not STEM does NOT require a classroom!  Hurrah to that! Want to know more? Read our parents guide to STEM learning below.

WHAT IS STEM

STEM is the idea of educating students in four specific areas — science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Rather than teach the four disciplines as separate subjects (as we did at school) STEM combines them to make a cohesive subject based on real-world applications.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT FOR OUR KIDS?

The skills that our kids acquire FROM STEM play a massive part in their future careers and their resilience. Many of the jobs that affect our economy include STEM subjects. Studies already show that early exposure to these skills makes children better equipped for school and their careers. STEM education promotes not only problem solving but also creative and analytical thinking. Skills that are important not just in their professional life, but in personal areas too.

DOES STEM MEAN MORE SCREENTIME?

A big part of STEM is technology, and although we are huge advocates for less screen time, we also recognise that moderate and responsible use of tablets and computers are essential for our kid’s education in this technology-driven world. There are lots of positive and educational apps for kids that can be hugely beneficial for STEM learning. We will be talking about our favourite educational apps in more detail next week but for now here are 5 of our favourites.

GOLDIEBLOX – Adventurous coding

ROBOT FACTORY – Build, test and collect robots

HOPSCOTCH – fun coding for kids

MONSTER MATHS – Fun maths learning

NOVA ELEMENTS – Super fun science

FUN WAYS TO PROMOTE STEM OUTSIDE OF SCHOOL

You don’t have to be a science or maths whizz to help teach your kid’s STEM. There are tonnes of super fun activities you can try at home and on days out that are primarily play centred. Pinterest is an excellent resource for these activities. Here are some of our favourites:

Hurricane STEM challenge – Carly & Adam

Hurricane+STEM+Challenge

GUMDROP BRIDGE – Little Bins for little hands

Gumdrop-Bridge-Building-STEM-candy-structures-activity-683x1024

BUILD A NEST STEM CHALLENGE – View from a stepstool

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BAKING SODA AND VINEGAR POWERED BOAT – The toolbox

vinegar-baking-soda-boat
BEST STEM RESOURCES

If you are still interested in learning more, then you can find some handy information via the RESOURCES below.

STEM.ORG

Little bins for little hands

Bright Horizons

We hope this has given you an insight into the world of STEM and why it’s so essential for our kids. Do you incorporate STEM at home already? If so join the conversation in the comments below or via our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages.

My Gator Watch is a wearable mobile phone designed especially for 5-12-year-olds. It uses GPS, two-way calling, works across multiple networks and has an SOS feature for peace of mind. It does not have a messaging feature, and you, the parent; determine all numbers that are pre-set within the phone.

For more information and prices, please click here.

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