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Implementing STEM

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The Early Years: The STEM of Inquiry
The Early Years: The STEM of Inquiry

This column discusses resources and science topics related to students in grades preK to 2. This month’s issue describes a STEM activity that includes designing and using a tool.

Author Post
Linda Alcorta Linda Alcorta 250 Points

I feel like it is very important to implement STEM at an early age. The sooner we trigger a childs mind and make them curious about STEM, the better they will do in these subjects. These subjects develop critical thinkers and i think we need our kids to be able to be critical thinkers starting in elementary.

Claire Johnson Claire Johnson 370 Points

I agree that it is significant to apply STEM beginning in elementary school. This form of curriculum allows students to think critically and understand and acknowledge problem solving skills that can progress as they continue to grow and learn. 

StarDaysha Santos StarDaysha Santos 330 Points

I think learning about STEM at an early age is important as well for many reasons. Students should be able to explore their strengths and weaknesses in each category. This will build their confidence as independent learners, kinesthetic learners, critical thinkers, and more. Students will be able to grow into innovators!

Ashley Viechweg Ashley Viechweg 90 Points

STEM is very important in the early years. But we think too deeply into what this can look like and sike ourselves out. Instead of attempting STEM in grand ways, remember many things are STEM and easy to implement. Problem solving. Give students a ball and have them come up with a solution to get the ball to roll the furtherest across the floor. Have them work in pairs. Virtually, have students collaborate on a solution to melting ice the fastest and have them test and record their answers. As long as they have ice and basic household ingredients the lab can be done during remote learning.

It's important to motivate students to be innovative, critical thinkers, and collaborators early so they feel 'smart', have positive outlooks for their education, and are prepared to be a part of workforce. 

Tamia Bloomfield Tamia Bloomfield 505 Points

I absolutely love STEM and the whole idea of it because I see, in the different elementary classrooms, the excitement of when they have STEM and the teacher is coming or that day is STEM day. All of the students are genuinely interested and seeing that excitement is what should be seen always for learning overall. STEM should be started as young as preK i think. 

Natalie Wagner Natalie Wagner 450 Points

I love engaging my students by incorporating stem in my science instruction. It is such a great way to build students' inquiry and communication skills. Not to mention growing their problem solving skills.

Jessica Kerr Jessica Kerr 10 Points

I agree with everyone! STEM is such an engaging way to help students develop critical thinking and problem solving skills. One of the aspects of STEM that I especially love is that it can empower students to help their community! STEM is such a great way to bring the real world into the classroom.

Amy Martin Amy Martin 455 Points

I agree it is important to integrate STEM with early childhood education. I believe there should be more things for this age group besides little disk activites. I understand there are limitations to age appropriate skills for developing STEM activties but I feel like there can be a whole lot more lessons/activites created for supporting STEM for the early childhood group. 

Melanie Lynch Melanie Lynch 440 Points

I feel that implementing STEM in Early Childhood is beneficial in developing and enhancing students’ comfortability with STEM content. I feel that STEM is often perceived as being too complex for young learners which results in a hesitation to teach and avoidance of the subjects. However, I feel that with scaffolding and the collaborative construction of age-appropriate activities, young learners will be in a great position to succeed in each component of STEM. I also feel that educators would benefit from support in building their confidence in teaching STEM content by providing them with additional resources and guidance as to how to effectively implement and integrate STEM within their classrooms. 

Brenda Canales Brenda Canales 1300 Points

I agree with that STEM is something that we should implement into our student curriculum as soon as we are able to. Early childhood is many times perceived as a time when the student learning is done mostly through play and social interaction. This could be in the early years in daycare or prek-2 grade. As the student is growing up we as adults tend to make their learning more rigid and set boundaries for them to follow within such as paper and pencil assignments. We lose sight of what could be beneficial of them really exploring science through inquiry along with guidence depending on their maturity level. I believe that if we consider the STEM aspect as just an automatic part of our lesson planning we will become more comfortable and in doing so will pass that feeling on to our students. Just like Ashley posted on an earlier response here, we can create different problem solving activities that will get the students in the STEM with simple activities. Some of these activities might lead to more questions that will inspire the students to be engaged and want to continue learning. 

Yaressy Hernandez Yaressy Hernandez 315 Points

Just as everyone else I agree that STEM should be implemented in early grades from pre-k to 2nd grade. This will help the students feel more comfortable with stem courses when encountering them in higher grade levels. These courses could also help the student develop their skills and we as teachers could strat identifying students that may need more help and start helping them at an ealry stage. The first years of a childs life is when they are able to absorb more information withouth feeling overwhelmed through play of course. I would implement STEM in my class with small activities that students may not even be aware that they are learning. I would implement simple activities in the lesson plan and explain to the students the omportance of the activities they have done and hopefully be able to connect these memories, motor skills, etc. with future courses.


Mireya Sanchez Mireya Sanchez 225 Points

I agree that STEM should be implemented in early elementary grade levels. It gives student an opportunity to be able to explore their strengths and weakensses, and gives them the chance to be able and work on those weaknesses. Students will be given the opportunity to be able to look into the kind of classroom structure they will be working with when they are in higher grade levels. The way I would like to incorporate STEM would be with building blocks for example, I would implement critical thinking while they buikd their blocks. For example, I would ask questions along the lines of 'will you tower fall if I place a book on top of it?', it will get their minds thinking and want to test out their theories. 

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