STEM

Workshop: Teaching Science

We kicked off the event with a warm welcome by Eiko, founder of Dearest, who was extremely delighted to see the many happy faces of providers at the company's first event.

Maya, our Community Development Manager, then led the introduction on how to use the platform and our educational session guideline to give everyone a better idea and structure of what Dearest is all about!

Adam, Guest Teacher, from NYU, who is also a provider on the platform, started off by taking us through some Teaching Practices and Strategies for STEM Educators

His Ph.D. Research at NYU is based on STEM and Literacy for young children. As an experienced teacher (both General and Special Education), his passion for teaching and learning Science definitely shone through as he took us through some hands-on science activities to do with children. 

The first station revolved around The Phenomena of Inquiry: Why Structures Stand or Fall? Providers got their hands busy by building structures with different materials in various ways. 

The next station explored the Concepts of Floating and Sinking. Adam explained how using different cultural tools and words can stimulate thinking in each child and best practices on teaching. 

The third station was focused on Exploring Light Phenomena as providers learnt how to use a pin-hole camera to teach concepts related to light and creating shadows.

Up next was our STEM Competition! Providers came with a brainstormed STEM Activity with a chance to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card! It was amazing seeing how some providers came prepared not just with activities but props too! Congratulations to Rebecca for winning the prize! 

It was a really close call given the thoughtful educational activities suggested by other providers. This was also a great way for everyone to share ideas to grow and learn from each other. 

To wrap up the event, we handed out goodie bags - with activity inspiration and some handy materials to use during sessions.

Before we listed those activities however, we made sure we could do it too. So we experimented, tried and failed and put those that succeeded on display!

We hope everyone that attended walked away with great ideas and inspiration to teach and we just wanted to thank all of our providers and people who contributed to making this event a success. 

We can't wait to share with everyone more about future workshops that are currently in the pipeline. Don't forget to follow us on Instagram, and like us on Facebook to stay tuned for updates!

Why STEM Education So Early?

Today’s society increasingly requires skills in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). In almost all industries, quantitative skills and basic knowledge in using computers are indispensable. But is it necessary to include STEM in early education? More and more researches and evidence show that it is not only necessary, but a practical must for the benefit of both children’s individual development and the growth of our economy as a whole.

Traditionally, parents and caregivers value literacy when educating young children. It needs to be recognized, however, that math and science learning is equally crucial in early childhood development. Scientific inquiry and exploration -- the core for math and science -- are the foundation for active learning and logical thinking as well. In other words, acquiring STEM-related knowledge early on in childhood sets the cornerstones for one’s intellectual growth. A child who learns how to think from the start of his/her mental development is guaranteed to succeed in whichever field -- humanities, social science, or STEM -- that he/she chooses to commit to later in life.

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On the other hand, early childhood is a suitable, though often neglected, time period for STEM learning. According to National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies, the brain is particularly receptive to learning math and logic between the ages of 1 and 4. Young children are naturally curious and inquisitive about the world around them, and what parents and caregivers should do is to provide them with learning environments that can take advantage of their natural inclination to explore.

But you may ask: what counts as a “learning environment?” Don’t you need to first learn letters and words in order to understand Newton’s Laws or computer systems? Dearest’s answer is a definitive “No.” STEM learning is not restricted to the science curriculum at school; it can easily be incorporated into children’s daily life and play, and thus exert an invisible but formative influence on children’s intellectual development. For example, the importance of playing with educational toys is not to be underestimated. When designing architectures for an imaginary city using building blocks, children effectively learn about basics in engineering different materials and structures in the 3-dimensional space. When piecing together puzzles with friends, they naturally practice math and problem solving skills in a social setting.

So, in the end, it all comes down to personalizing an early education that can bring the best out of each child. Luckily, you don’t have to be a professional in child education yourself to achieve this goal. Dearest recruits educational childcare providers that specialize in various fields, especially STEM, and their service are conveniently at your disposal. If you want your naturally born little explorer, scientist, or scholar to realize his/her potentials, get early access at www.dearest.io

 

Sources:

Stanford Center for Education Policy Analysis

Strategies for Children

STEM Education Must Start in Early Childhood