There's no debate that STEM and STEAM skills are integral in children's education. That's why every November 8 since 2015, National STEM/STEAM Day illuminates the fields of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics. Encouraging children to advance in these fields will crucially support the backbone of the country — and its future.
Multiple studies have underscored the importance of STEM education. The students of today have the power to transform future generations with their knowledge and understanding of these fields. And greater demand surges more than ever before for professional skills related to STEM subjects. STEM/STEAM Day encourages curiosity at a young age and aims to help children learn through fun, interactive, and educational activities and games. This STEM/STEAM Day, celebrate at home, in class, or even outside with these creative suggestions.
How to Celebrate National STEM/STEAM Day
1. Indulge Their Inner Inventor
Invention encourages creativity and stimulates children to think outside of the box. Reaching for new ideas, exploring fresh concepts, and developing innovative solutions to different problems represent core parts of the STEM/STEAM movement. Through the power of invention, kids learn to take risks with their choices. They use their powers of critical thinking, partnership with others, problem-solving, and reasoning skills to delve forward and achieve results. littleBits STEAM kits for the home and classroom empower children to design, play, collaborate, and create. Integrating STEAM concepts enables children to develop valuable traits that will help them excel not just in school, but in the workforce.
2. Visit a Virtual Museum
Museums across the United States offer valuable, virtual programs that illuminate the fundamentals of National STEM/STEAM Day learning. Observing the wonders of invention in action, kids will learn how to repurpose old materials to generate new solutions for existing problems, to create visionary approaches to nurture plants, to detect the temperature, and to harness the power of natural elements. Many properties also offer free movies, guided digital tours, and webcasts and seminars to allow students to integrate with STEM learning efforts from afar.
3. Teach the Real World
On National STEM/STEAM Day, call attention to the world at large. The most crucial step to introducing your child to STEM and STEAM education is by creating teaching methods that are not only insightful but also fun. All STEM/STEAM-based projects focus on the crux of developing thoughtful solutions for real-world concerns. A key for students, these projects allow them to see and experience the impact of what they’ve learned. Transforming the platform from educational into contextual, the authentic applications prove to students what they absorb in the classroom and at home yield a genuine effect on the world around them. Think of real-world situations that might apply: making environmental improvements, resolving urban design plans, developing structures that resist weather damage and earthquakes, and mitigating oil spills. These few examples skim the surface of ways in which STEM/STEAM learning can affect the real world.
4. Enhance with Art
When STEM transforms into STEAM, it embraces the intrinsic value of art in the everyday world. Budding artists whose creativity extends beyond the realms of fantasy find encouragement to build on their skills by creating fresh STEM projects that unite technology with art. littleBits kits contain the building blocks children can use to develop one-of-a-kind masterpieces, like self-drawing art machines. Through intuitive manipulation of these modules, kids learn the fine art of motion while creating something that generates fresh, exciting artwork every time. Watching the magic of their work come to life can enormously inspire and motivate youngsters.
Additional idea: the Sphero BOLT programmable robot is completely waterproof, so you can dip it in paint and program a masterpiece.
5. Research Different STEM/STEAM Careers
Professional opportunities abound, setting the sky as the limit for curious children ready to take on the world. Explore the many different career paths that exist for kids building their STEM/STEAM skills. Introduce them to architecture, designing, three-dimensional modeling, forensics, programming, engineering, graphics, astrophysics, and archaeology —just a few of the countless fields that await them in the future. Explore all the possible avenues they might take that can help them excel in the future. Developing this type of enthusiasm at a young age sets the stage for a lifetime of curiosity, joy, and passion for the subject — simply a priceless advantage of celebrating National STEM/STEAM Day!
6. Take An Interactive STEAM Field Trip
Getting hands-on and learning through play is what makes STEM and STEAM an enjoyable way for kids to learn and have fun in the process. There are plenty of offsite, educational opportunities for kids to have an engaging STEM/STEAM Day celebration outside of the classroom. Look at local science museums, your community library, or even places like Main Event where they are now hosting Play Academy, a new, accredited STEAM curriculum that combines real lessons with the games kids love.
Need more inspiration and ideas? The Sphero Edu app, littleBits Classroom and Sphero.com are just a few of our other resources available to spark creativity! Happy STEM/STEAM Day from all of us at Sphero.