The "S" in STEM stands for Science. Science is the study of the world around us and a method to explain natural phenomenons. The scientific method is used to establish what it is we want to know, design an experiment to learn about it, take a guess at what the results of that experiment will be, see what happens, and draw a conclusion about what we saw. Scientists across generations have built upon each other to establish the rules we use about our world. Our kids are given many chances to try, experiment, and reflect to let them learn about the world around them. This works towards our goal of creating a love of science in kids in order to cultivate the next generation of scientists
We would like to elaborate two sample activities amongst many such that children work on at STEM Academy to explore various STEM concepts in the learning process. Through these four pages (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), we will be exploring how we touch on each of the four topics in regards to those two projects to give you a basic understanding of how our kids will be learning. Refer to the respective pages to see how we touch on that topic during our lessons for these activities.
Sample Activities to Integrate STEM in the Learning Process:
First, we have our Parachutes activity. The kids are each given some basic supplies (strips of yarn, coffee filters, tissue paper, and tape) and have to figure out a way to slow the descent of our cup full of "passenger" foam cubes so that they all safely stay in the cup once they land.
Over the course of that activity, we will provide kids with background information of the sciences that will show up in their experiment. This will include discussing gravity and net force on an object, air resistance, and dispersing weight over a large area. The kids will be able to see firsthand how these will come into play during our design process.
Second, we have our Catapults activity. The kids are also given some basic supplies with project (straws, craft sticks, rubber bands, and a spoon) and are tasked with constructing a catapult capable of launching various weighted objects.
Like with the Parachutes activity, kids will explore gravity and air resistance. Additionally, we will also discuss trajectory, precision, and accuracy with their catapults while they try to aim for our target.