Preschool S.T.E.M. Is STEAM
“Every kid starts out as a natural-born scientist.” -Carl Sagan
Because the world has moved into the Information Age the focus in education has shifted to S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics). Smart preschools have found ways to incorporate STEM’s different disciplines into children’s daily activities, with one important addition…art. Add Art and you turn STEM into STEAM curriculum. Preschool S.T.E.M. is STEAM. Since art is already integral to preschool curriculum you’re probably already offering these domains of learning (and more) in your classroom daily. Lets take a look.
Here’s a nice video showing young children as they are introduced to STEM activities during a typical day at school. the narrator says “Many early childhood teachers are already implementing STEM practices, in their classrooms, and the don’t even know it.” Many of us do know that what we’re teaching qualifies a STEM and/or STEAM. Below you’ll find a collection of photos showing how simple activities can qualify as STEM/STEAM.
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Preschool S.T.E.M. Is STEAM – Science
Science – This child is using a pipette to experiment with colored vinegar and baking soda. You could try it with water first and compare what happens with the vinegar. The children could predict what they think will happen. (Hint Bubbles happen!)
Science – This child is catching air in Steve Spangler’s Windbags. Fun science!
Preschool S.T.E.M. Is STEAM – Tech
Technology – This technology might be outdated in the MP3 era but the kids love it! We use an old record player to spin paper plates and paint while it turns.
Technology – We took a field trip to a nearby observatory. If you have an internet connection you can find many sites to show kids space. NASA is a beautiful place to visit online.
Preschool S.T.E.M. Is STEAM – Engineering
Engineering – The blocks this young girl is using can build pyramids and so much more! We keep these at the table.
Engineering – These building blocks are made of durable cardboard. They are light weight and allow the kids to build over their heads. When they fall no one gets hurt.
Preschool S.T.E.M. Is STEAM – ART
Art – We are making marble art with magnetic marbles. Put a few different colors of paint in small cups, use a spoon to dip the marbles in the paint. Place the paint covered marbles on a paper (use a plastic tray). Use a magnet wand or any magnet to move the magnetic marbles around the paper.
Art- Open ended art supplies are available all day, all year. We upgrade the supplies as the children’s abilities develop. We start with crayons, washable markers, scissors, and glue. Later in the year we add water color paint, shape hole punches, pattern scissors… The easel is always open as well.
Preschool S.T.E.M. Is STEAM – Math
Math – Here we graphed how many classmates liked each of three different kinds of apples. We all tasted each color apple and made the graph while some of the children were still chewing!
Math – October is fire safety month so we work on calling 911. After they’ve all had a turn I put the flannel board and numbers in the Math/Science Center for open ended play.
The point of all this is that these are the activities child care and preschool teachers do with children every day. We actually incorporate many other aspects of learning. These pictures also depict fine and large motor development, social skills, and many other developmental skills that are inherent in the learning taking place. Teachers in early childhood education incorporate S.T.E.M. and STEAM into the curriculum every day, even if they don’t realize it!