In recent years, a plethora of STEM-based toys have hit toy store shelves. STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math education. A STEM-literate child is apt in critical thinking and innovation. They learn to forge meaningful connections with their peers and communities by learning about science, technology, and math in early adolescence. Research suggests the most covetable jobs for future generations are rooted in STEM-based fields, indicating a need for STEM literacy in early education. But where does that leave the field of Humanities?
Researchers and scientists have long-debated over changing the STEM acronym to STEAM by incorporating an A for Art. Many researchers don’t realize that Art is essential to understanding the very concepts they’re attempting to integrate into children’s lives. While children are learning the essentials of engineering in their classrooms by using algebra and geometry, few actually have the opportunity to build their designs with physical materials. What good are these concepts if they’re never put into practice? We need a movement that highlights creativity and open-ended play while still maintaining STEM-based education.
The answer? Allow your children to become creators. Educators who incorporate STEM and STEAM-based learning into their classrooms are discovering that children are more apt to learn if they’re using their creative minds. Teaching students to create by engaging them in projects that suit their interests and passions is the best way for children to learn the fundamentals of science and mathematics. A creator is someone who brings something else into existence, from poetry to robotics and fine cuisine to mousetrap cars. Creators are typically motivated by their curiosity for knowledge and their desire to produce something out of nothing. As children build, they discover, imagine, and create a wider scope of the world and the way it operates. Trust your children to be a creator and you may realize that they become more than just a consumer. Playing will increase their understanding of core concepts and they will actually enjoy learning. Our future needs engineers and scientists and mathematicians, but it also needs creative engineers and visionary scientists and empathetic mathematicians.
If you’re wondering how to teach STEM and STEAM to your children without inhibiting their creativity, we recommend Brackitz, an award-winning educational toy that does more than teach the basics of assembling pieces together. Brackitz integrate architecture, engineering, math, and science, ultimately providing children with important skills they will need in the future like cognitive thinking, reasoning, and problem solving. Brackitz promotes open-ended play, allowing children’s creativity to flourish while still being educational.