The acronym STEM and its introduction in early school education such as preschools is being debated a lot. Many are convinced about its advantages but there are others who still question why should it be introduced in preschools?
STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math. The course curriculum hinges upon the smart integration of these subjects such that children are initiated into the wonders of these subjects in a manner that is smooth and not a burden.
Stem lesson plans for preschools in India is gaining momentum due to the apparent fatigue of the current system of education delivery. Children are no longer enjoying what they are learning at schools. The academic system of learning through memory and recitation is no longer effective. We are producing students who sail through school and college without knowing the depth of the subjects. They have superficial knowledge that makes them unemployable in real life. They are also not exposed to adequate communication skills, making them misfits in the social context.
Why do we need stem kits for preschools in India?
The Right To Education Act has laid down clear strictures on how preschools have to be run. The responsibilities of the teachers and parents have been mentioned. The physical infrastructure of the school as well as other parameters of teacher student ratio, how equipped the school has to be with regard to its library, its outdoor areas for children to play, how children have to be assessed, how often they should be medically examined and so on have all been put down for implementation. These steps along with mid day meals, the government believe will improve attendance in school and improve health of children and also bring down maternal mortality.
However, all of the above will only bear fruit if the syllabus is made interesting enough for the child. Stem education in Indian preschools addresses the primary requirements of children as under:
- Children like to wander and look around, exploring nature
- They like to build blocks, structures
- They would love to draw pictures, paint on them and would require tools that enable them to do so
- They would like to have sufficient time to play outdoors, get dirty and experiment with nature
Preschool stem activities promote all of the above
It is easy to appreciate that children have to enjoy doing all that is mentioned and would also get exposure to science, technology, engineering and math through these activities.
Stem activities enable them to explore, discover, observe and experiment. They become curious enough to ask questions and also learn how to apply concepts towards problem solving. It is essential to remember that the premise of ECCE or Early Childhood Education also revolves around letting children seek and find their creative pursuits.
Kids today are able to pick up so much through just observation. They are tech savvy as well and must be encouraged to use computers at an early age. They take to technology like fish to water and would be able to harness the power of the internet positively.
The world today needs innovators, inventors and problem solvers
We are in a situation in today’s world when we need more people to innovate, invent and solve problems. Following the Stem curriculum in preschool engages the children such that they experience personal growth and are tuned towards solving problems using intellect, research and exploration.
As adults, we should encourage observation, exploration among children. The stem kits for kindergarten in India should be provided to more and more schools. Kids will go through the process of learning and schooling in a much happier frame of mind and will come out of school and college as better individuals.
Preschool stem kits in India are easy to make and provide
Encouraging children to build ramps, help them identify different speeds of cars, balls, marbles, providing them with cardboard and other objects with which they can create other structures are all part of Stem activities. These involve engineering, math. Similarly, asking them to build towers, measure towers and improve upon what has been made will make children learn about math, figures in a fun manner.
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