STEM Kits and STEAM Robotics in Preschool Education
Have you ever imagined how today’s successful programmers and developers came into the world? The likes of Bill Gates, Linus Torvalds and James Gosling all started showing an aptitude for coding and basic computing at very early ages.
There is increasing interest in teaching kids the basics of coding at the preschool and elementary school level, which is why the US government has significantly invested in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) at all levels of education. This has inevitably given way to preschool STEM kits and STEM robotics kits that are now fairly standard in the classroom. But what exactly are they about? What is the importance of introducing STEM kits and STEM robotics kits into the preschool curriculum?
Let’s delve further.
What are these STEM robotics kits exactly?
Preschool STEM kits and STEM robotics kits are engaging tools and toys made to challenge young learners to think strategically and solve problems. They help young minds plan, design and build while having fun in the process. These kits can range from basic Legos to the more in-depth robotics and coding programs, however they all share a similar goal – to foster critical thinking, brainstorming, and the basics of problem-solving. These learning resources help to form preliminary skillsets that are essential throughout formative years and adulthood.
Importance of Integrating STEM Robotics into Curriculum
“Education begins the moment we see children as innately wise and capable beings. Only then can we play in their world.”
Research shows that if children leave kindergarten with these basic foundational skills, they’re more likely to succeed throughout their lifetime. Thus, efforts are being made to improve STEM education throughout the country. Though this same research has noted that screen-time can be a detriment to a child’s development. Enter screen-free coding kits and STEM coding robots in preschool.
Garnering a positive reception for innovative ways to foster STEM initiatives while keeping kids off of computers and iPads, these preschool and early education screenless coding robots are being introduced to teach much more than programming. The right system spans all subjects including art and music turning a once STEM curricula into an even more valued STEAM initiative.
Highlights of integrating preschool robotics kits into a learning program include:
1. Engage the curious minds of kids through play that involves critical thinking, analysis, and problem solving.
2. Children learn at their own pace and their own way. STEM and STEAM coding robots provide an individualized education without stigma keeping them on par with peers.
3. Cognitive learning and communication skills are honed with screenless coding and preschool STEM kits
4. A report by STEMconnector estimates that the fields of Computing, Traditional Engineering, Physical sciences, Life sciences and Mathematics will create more and more job opportunities for people in the US. The ultimate goal of introducing STEM kits to preschool is to prepare the young minds for the future.
Why are Preschool STEM and Robotics Kits Effective
STEM kits and robotics at the preschool level are more than just touted resources, they’re proven effective.
1. Fosters creativity: One of the fundamental challenges of ordinary classroom education is the tendency it has of killing creativity in some kids. The introduction of STEM kits and STEM Robotics kit to preschool curriculum allows kids to think outside the box.
2. Encourages experimentation: Preschool kids are naturally curious and these tool kits give them the freedom to experiment creating their own “cause and effect.”
3. Encourages teamwork: Because many of the preschool STEM kits are used by the kids in a group, this allows them to adopt the values of teamwork and learn to ask for help.
4. Encourages problem-solving and knowledge application: After specific STEM exercises, their teachers can provide the kids with real-world problems that will require them to apply the skills they have learned.
5. Encourages tech use: Being the ultimate goal of the STEM initiative, kids are exposed to advanced tech disguised in the most simplest possible form… an electronic learning toy.
KIBO, the learning robot designed specifically for kids, offers an inviting, engaging platform for young children to start their journey into creating with code in a fun and creative way. KIBO’s block-based coding language gives children control over the robot’s movements, sounds, and sensors, allowing them to express their imaginations with code. The KIBO curriculum for educators also teaches children to tell stories, create characters, and explore the world around them through code. KIBO is the number one choice in screen-free coding for kids – trusted by more parents and schools to introduce today’s youth to the wonders of technology and robotics.