Over the last couple of years we have seen a big push on STEAM education in Australia. So is this just a passing fad and how important is this to our children?
STEAM education is an approach to learning that focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics. It aims to develop inquiry skills and critical thinking and to prepare children for our fast-paced, modern world.
Our society today is driven by these subjects, every day we see advances in the fields of technology and science. If we can spark children’s curiosity in these areas early we will grow innovators, young people with high order abilities that are well equipped to deal with the 21st century.
I want to focus on the area of science, it has always been one of my passions and in my opinion is definitely one of the most exciting subjects to teach to small children. So how do I spark this curiosity I hear you ask? There are so many opportunities for teaching science that occur on a daily basis. Young children are naturally curious so it is important to use this as the foundation. When your child stops and shows an interest in something, allow them to observe and explore. They may be observing a bee landing on a flower or watching you combine ingredients to bake a cake. Through allowing them to observe, ask questions and reflect you will support them in developing an understanding of the world around them.
Another important way of developing science skills and knowledge is to plan hands on activities that allow children to explore and discover. These activities could include exploring whether objects sink or float, planting seeds and watching them grow, joining in with cooking activities or exploring shadows on a wall. Any activity that supports children to learn about the world around them and prompts them to ask questions about what is happening and why is science. In the words of Sally Ride (American engineer , physicist and astronaut and the first woman in space) ‘Science is fun, Science is curiosity’ and in my own words Science is all around us so let’s take our children’s hands and jump in!.