Why STEM is Beneficial in Early Years Education
The Scottish Government is set to look at the importance of teaching STEM to young children as part of an inquiry into the impact of STEM subjects and how successfully they are being delivered. MSPs from the Education and Skills Committee will specifically look at which STEM subjects are being taught to children aged between three and seven, how they improve their future prospects, whether teachers feel confident in teaching STEM concepts, the success of different STEM initiatives, and how best practice can be shared.
One MSP commented that there is little doubt about the importance of science, technology, engineering and maths in early years education, and added that children are naturally curious and enjoy solving problems, so teaching STEM skills early could create a lasting legacy of STEM skills in Scotland.
So how does STEM fit into early years education and what are the benefits for children?
How STEM fits into early years education
Science: Children love trying things out, predicting how things will work, and asking questions.
Technology: Children love using their imagine to invent and build things, and they can learn problem-solving skills so they can figure out why something doesn’t work.
Engineering: Children love thinking about how to solve problems, and working with different materials.
Mathematics: Children can learn how to measure things and explore shapes.
What are the benefits of STEM in early years education?
It makes children more resilient
When learning about STEM concepts, a child will soon learn that failure is part of life, not something to be ashamed about. They might make a mistake, or experiment with something that doesn’t quite work, but instead of being upset or embarrassed, they’ll learn how to think critically and problem solve, and try again.
It encourages creativity
Many people think there’s nothing creative about science, engineering, or technology, but that’s simply not true. Think about the beautiful buildings in your town or city, or the amazing bridges and other feats of engineering. They look like art but were built with the knowledge of STEM concepts. Maybe your little one could be an engineer of the future?
It encourages teamwork
STEM learning teaches children to work together to solve problems and come up with new solutions. Being able to work as part of a team is a crucial life skill that will help children when they enter the world of work.
It improves future prospects
It’s well known that there’s a chronic skills shortage in STEM, and that many job vacancies can’t be filled. So If your child develops an interest in STEM and gets a higher qualification in a STEM subject, they’ll have a definite advantage. Figures have also shown that people who work in STEM occupations are better paid than average.
It encourages children to take a risk
Children are naturally curious and wanting to experiment is in their nature, and STEM learning takes advantage of this. It encourages them to give things a try, even if there’s a chance they might be wrong, and they’ll feel more confident as a result.
STEM relates to real life
The great thing about STEM learning is that it’s about learning by doing, so children can see exactly how STEM concepts apply in the real world. They aren’t just reading something from a textbook and having to accept it as the truth, they’re seeing it with their own eyes which motivates them to learn.
STEAM Lab is a social enterprise that runs classes and workshops aimed at teaching kids about science, technology, engineering, art, and maths-all while having fun!
We believe that every child deserves the chance to reach their potential and have a brighter future, whatever their background.
Contact us to find out more about our classes and workshops.