The Bureau of Labor Statistics says the STEM field will grow to more than 9 million jobs by the year 2022. According to Global Indian International School, STEM subjects also teach kids valuable skills such as critical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving, which will come in handy in employment and also in entrepreneurship.
Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics have become critical areas of study, not only in high schools and tertiary levels but also for young kids. Unfortunately, most teachers are not professionally trained as engineers or IT gurus, meaning they may struggle to teach these subjects as much as students struggle to understand them.
Luckily, there are many tools and products in the market meant to make teaching STEM subjects easier and engaging.
Read on for the top 6 products to use in your classroom to get students excited about learning the otherwise hard and complicated subjects.
For a long time, kids have been using Legos as play items at home. It turns out that building sets like LEGOs, bricks, KEVA planks, and K’NEX can help children practice critical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving skills. Building blocks can help students learn how to build something from scratch and use their imagination in engineering.
However, it’s also a great way to learn patterns in mathematics and predict what happens next. You can alternate colors to teach kids series and sequence and leave blank spaces and let them fill in the missing colors. Blocks and bricks are inexpensive, and all the students in the class can use them.
The invention is at the heart of the STEM program, and nothing portrays this to students better than Makey Makey. It’s a cool invention kit that allows kids to use everyday objects like fruits and playdough to create magnificent things. The kit teaches students coding, circuitry, and engineering using easy and exciting pieces. You can attach the cables to any small item you have and use it as the mouse or keyboard, something that kids find very interesting. You can also build your own sensors using paper clips, foil, and pennies, just like adults. The job of Makey Makey is to bring out the creative part in every student and help them to explore their imagination to create the future they want.
Want to teach kids the fundamentals of circuitry? Snap Circuit is the perfect product to do that. It’s a series of circuit pieces that snap together through buttons, and it looks exactly like the circuitry inside a PC board. The fairly inexpensive snap circuit kit includes lesson plans that range from easy to advanced depending on the class you are teaching. This sets the foundation for more complex circuitry later in life and builds the kids’ interest in electric work. The instruction manual is incredibly easy to follow, and students need little input from the teacher. You can buy different snap circuit kits to keep the class interesting.
Code & Go Mouse
A few years ago, robotics was a distant dream, but it’s here now and taking over the world. Code & Go Mouse introduces early learners to robotics without the need for jargon and technicalities. The teacher shows the students how to program the mouse to get to the cheese by clicking the arrow button and entering a code.
It’s a pretty straightforward product to set up and understand, so teachers will have an easy time showing students how to use it. In essence, students create a maze, which the mouse will follow. They can come up with more complicated patterns, the more they gain experience.
Kid Spark Mobile STEM Labs is an innovative product that covers a wide range of subjects within the STEM curriculum. The phases covered are Mentored Construction play for pre-school kids, Stem Fundamentals, Application in Design & Engineering, and Systems of Technology for high school kids.
Each lab has all the necessary parts and can be used by four students working together. You can use the labs as standalone units or combine two or three labs to teach a complete progression. Kid Spark also has a comprehensive online library, student resources, and video tutorials to enhance the knowledge you get from the portable labs.
TeacherGeek is an array of all-in-one kits for students to practice their STEM skills as they build and find scientific solutions through experiments and creativity. The components allow students to work out their critical-thinking and problem-solving skills while learning mathematical and engineering concepts and processes. Each kit comes with detailed instructions and activity guides for students, but teachers can explore additional videos and guides online.
In the words of Stephen Ehrmann, “learning is not a spectator sport.” Any of the above products help students participate in the learning process and make it easier for teachers to explain and teach STEM subjects, even if they are not professional engineers or scientists. As a leading international school, Global Indian International School promotes innovation, technology, and other competencies to help in career progression.