Preschool is the perfect opportunity to introduce STEM. Children are naturally inquisitive explorers. It is our job as educators (including parents) to provide children the opportunity to learn STEM attributes. STEM is not just about the subject matter. Opportunities of teaching Executive Function skills are, or should be embedded in STEM curriculum. These skills include organizing information, staying focused, strategizing, planning, and exercising self-control. This is what we at New World Learning Academy define as “STEM Smart”. Learning these skills at an early age allows children the opportunity to learn without fear of failure. Incorporating Executive Function skills along the way can benefit a child for a lifetime.
In today’s world, more and more employers are not only looking for a skilled workforce but are relying on talented, well rounded employees who bring collaboration, problem solving and critical thinking skills to the table. It has become a necessity in many company’s cultures around the world for their employees to poses these skills for success in our global economy. So when should we begin teaching students these skills? Is preschool too early to focus on such BIG tasks? Research says preschool is where to begin. According to the US Chamber of Commerce, “(T)he capacity for developmental skills begins in the first five years of life. This is the beginning point for a person’s creativity, communication, team working, problem-solving and critical thinking skills.”