STEAM is a hot topic these days. Almost every early learning curriculum is focused on those five letters. Science, technology, engineering, art, and math make up the core of contemporary education, which is why there are so many great resources dedicated to integrating these concepts into classroom and home learning!
But what if engineering and technology aren’t your strong suit? How do you teach your children about something you barely understand yourself? No need to worry: Simple STEAM: 50+ Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math Activities is here to help! Marnie Forestieri and Debby Mitchel’s book provides tips on how to teach STEAM concepts to your children, even if you’re not a science teacher. Regardless of your familiarity with engineering, you can still help teach your child by:
- Asking open-ended questions. Children learn through experience and critical thinking, so talking about what they are learning cements it in their minds. Ask them what they see when you do a project; see how they try to explain it. It doesn’t matter if you have all the answers; walking through their thoughts with them makes learning fun and effective. You can discover answers to questions together and learn side by side!
- Doing experiments and projects. Don’t know how air currents work? Try playing with a parachute to find out! Curious about gravity? Build a simple pulley system and watch how it works! There are so many ways to explore STEAM concepts, and the experiments often speak for themselves. Look for activities like the ones in Simple STEAM and let the activities do the teaching.
- Looking things up. Maybe you don’t know where to begin with your child’s pressing question. No need to worry; try cracking open an encyclopedia or doing a quick search online. The answers you find might just inspire you to try a new experiment, or give you ideas for a lesson. STEM websites for children and books for STEAM-based classrooms are great places to learn about these concepts in ways that are accessible to young children, keeping learning easy and fun.
- Keep it simple. Science and engineering can seem like daunting subjects to teach, but the concepts at the core of them are quite simple. Every mathematical theory began with counting, and no scientific discovery was ever made without first experimenting through trial and error. Young learners are only just beginning to branch out into the world of STEAM, and the things they are learning will most likely be familiar to you in some way. Don’t panic. Instead, embrace this wonderful opportunity to learn alongside your child.