How do preschoolers learn STEM concepts?
article derived from the Spokane County Library District's STEM Preschool bookmark
STEM is an acronym for four areas of learning: science, technology, engineering and math. It is never too early to expose and build confidence in STEM concepts. STEM is part of what children are already doing -playing. As they explore their world, children love to ask questions, observe things around them, and experiment. Here is what STEM looks like with preschoolers:
For preschooler, science includes topics such as nature, animals, dirt, water, dinosaurs, bugs, weights, magnets and weather.
Technology covers the tools of science: magnifying glasses, measuring cups, rulers, magnets and scales. Simple machines like gears, pulleys and wheels are technology as well. The use of computers and digital devices is a small part of technology for preschoolers.
Engineering is building with blocks, Legos, boxes and other materials. Children are planning, designing and problem solving while they play and build.
Math for preschoolers includes shapes, counting, knowing their numbers, patterns, sorting and one-to-one correspondence.
You can help your child with STEM concepts by encouraging your child with open-ended questions. These can help children with making predictions, providing evidence, problem solving and estimation. Here are some open-ended questions examples:
What do you think will happen next?
What can you do to change what happened?
How do you know?
How many do you estimate are there?
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