S.T.E.A.M in the Early Childhood Classroom

S.T.E.M. "STEM workers drive our nation's innovation and competiveness by generating new ideas, new companies and new industries" HISTORY: President Eisenhower once said "We need scientists in the ten years ahead. They (the president's advisors) say we need them by thousands more than we are now presently planning to have. The Federal government can deal with only part of this difficulty, but it must and will do its part. The task is a cooperative one, Federal, State and local governments, and our entire citizenry must all do their share." In 1990's National Science Foundations married, science, technology, engineering, and math with the acronym "STEM".
Introduction to STEM: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AlPJ48simtE
S.T.E.M. “The Thinkers of Tomorrow” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXKvFhsH0tQ&list=PL5AFAADC1FB7F75D4
What is S.T.E.M. Literacy in the 21st Century? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zy4WmiM8lxI&list=PL5AFAADC1FB7F75D4
Why is S.T.E.M. curriculum so important? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=biWQZlUl-vE&list=PL5AFAADC1FB7F75D4
Assessment for STEAM: Assessing students’ performance in STEAM activities is quite simple. Meaningful writing and journaling is all it takes. Students can create simple illustrations and fill in basic journaling prompts based on his or her abilities. Children even at the kindergarten level can be assessed using the 5E method of science exploration; engage, explore, explain, elaborate, and evaluate. http://sd54.org/science/5es/
Many early childhood educators are cautious about incorporating STEAM lessons into an already crowded curriculum. It is never too early to begin introducing young children these concepts. There are developmentally appropriate lessons at the fingertips of teachers everywhere.
If teachers do not feel comfortable or qualified to develop quality STEAM lessons, with a bit of searching, ready-made lessons are abundant. Interviews and Videos: There is no shortage of professional views and opinions about STEM/STEAM in the classroom.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Hb0vkdzaWg Roni Ellington https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5RoBCQ5tYKQ
Neil deGrasse Tyson Why is STEM/STEAM education so important? Meaningful educational experiences and authentic learning should be integrated across content areas. All too often curriculum and instruction delivery is compartmentalized. First we teach language arts, then we go to music, then we teach math, then we have lunch, then if we are lucky we have a few minutes to squeeze in science and/or social studies. This approach is not helping our students to develop the necessary thinking and collaborating skills that are needed to compete in a rapidly evolving global economy. As educators, we must change our thinking in order to help our students develop these skills.
It is never too early to begin. Academic learning and intellectual learning do not have to be separated. In fact, they must work hand in hand in order to help all students to become successful in the classroom and in the real world. Laying the foundation for the development of science, technology, engineering, art, and math skills at the early childhood level is critical to helping students become successful at higher classroom levels.
Pros of STEM/STEAM education: - Helps prepare students academically and prepares them for real world working experiences - Provides connections to the community through actual scientists, engineers and other professionals - Promotes curiosity, inquiry, creativity, exploration, collaboration and critical thinking Cons of STEM/STEAM education: - Often seen as the latest academic trend - Students have limited horizons because many do not have the needed math and science skills Programs often address the needs of the highest achieving students and leave out all other students - “Window Dressing” Students can develop math and science skills in many other ways
http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/education/293569-early-exposure-t... http://voxxi.com/2013/06/26/stem-education-obstacles/
Five important characteristics necessary to implement STEM/STEAM in the classroom:
1. Reflection
2. Research
3. Discovery
4. Application
5. Communication
Engaging STEAM Activities in the ECE classroom:
http://www.nea.org/tools/lessons/stem-resources.html https://www.istemnetwork.org/resource/educational/lesson.cfm
How to start and where to begin:
After years of education reform and countless standards, the U.S. struggles to maintain an edge. Resources to help increase, encourage and educate the importance of STEM instruction.
GRANTS: stemgrants.com and www.whitehouse.gov
PROGRAMS: www.nsf.gov
This guide book is entitled Careers for Numbers People: STEM, Silicon Valley & Beyond.  It has some great information about different career paths that mathematical and analytical skills can open up. It looks at and compares different types of careers working with numbers, including information about salaries and the typical degrees needed. There are also numerous additional resources to help people find their ideal career in the math or STEM world.