As the exams are getting over, kids are becoming very excited about upcoming summer vacations. Vacations don’t necessarily mean end of learning. With the help of STEM activities, learning during the summer could be fun, exciting and educational.
STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, all four disciplines are taught together to bring about a holistic understanding of a concept amongst children.
There are a number of STEM activities that can be done during summers at your homes. Some of them are as follow:
Is there any household with kids that does not have Lego blocks? Honestly, we are yet to see one. Lego blocks can be used to teach various concepts of STEM. One can make a maze of Lego blocks and navigating a marble from one point to another through that maze. Building a maze of varied breadths, and lengths, thinking of how to make a challenging maze, how many blocks would be needed etc. would require a child to use a lot of mental faculties. In this process they would learn basic concept of STEM- Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
Seeing something grow from a tiny seed that the child has planted himself/ herself would be an invaluable learning experience for the child. While planting a seed, we can explain about different types of seeds, their sizes, whether they are of vegetables or flowers. Through STEM model we can talk about how the germination process happens, how the tree grows, how many days would it take for a seed to grow, how much water is required, why sunlight is important to its growing process and many more concepts can be explained to children through this activity.
Children are naturally curious to know about their world. In order to help them quench their thirst for knowledge we can create something called- quench the thirst jar. We can write questions related to STEM activities on paper e.g. how do birds fly? Why do we need oxygen to survive? how does an engine work? etc, and fill the jar with it. Every day the child would take out a paper from the jar and then read and explore about the related topic.
We really don’t need fancy equipments to teach our kids STEM. The advantage of STEM learning is its simplicity and easy availability of items. You can use a lot of things available in the kitchen to teach concepts through STEM learning. Such as, marshmallows and straws can be used to build a tower of varying height or baking a cake could make them learn about concepts of measurements and temperature.
There are numerous activities that can be planned to combine STEM learning with summer fun. For example, children can use old cardboards to make a roller coaster or racing tracks for their car. This would require them to do measurements, decide the height and length of the track, working of the track etc. not only would they be busy creatively, they would be learning something about science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) too.
STEM education is going to be very helpful in making the summer vacations fun and exciting for the children without compromising on their learning. They will be learning various concepts in a real life situation which would have long lasting impact.