Learning to play. Playing to learn.
Over the last few years the educational world has seen the advent of a new educational approach: STEAM. This important movement is gaining popularity because it touches on critical factors that help children thrive and succeed in today’s fast-changing world.
STEAM integrates SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING, ART and MATH. It helps kids gain an understanding of the links between these subjects, and how they interplay in our everyday lives. STEAM pushes kids to explore science, while applying math, thinking like an engineer, and being creative all at the same time.
According to Brad Kaplin, STEAM coach at Akiva School elementary school in Montreal, with STEAM teaching, children understand how their world works. The STEAM content areas have traditionally been taught in isolation, but in the real world they aren’t separated. Math and science, technology and engineering; they all relate to each other. Kids benefit from STEAM in that it develops crucial learning and thinking skills.
This is a different teaching approach because it breaks down the traditional silos separating the core disciplines. Instead of teaching math and science separately, and having another teacher come in to teach technology, all of these subjects are taught in a linked way. STEAM also focuses on the entire process, instead of just a final product. Kids learn in an active, hands-on approach, by doing, creating, exploring and so on.
As strong supporters of STEAM education, the toys that we carry help and encourage children to develop skills in the core disciplines. STEAM-type toys can be used both in the classroom and at home. When used at home they become an extension of what is taught in the classroom. They become an added-value that continues to promote and assist STEAM learning. They reinforce the understanding and hands-on learning of the core disciplines, and help children adopt skills, like coding, circuitry and robotics, early on. They also limit screen time and have them engage, interact and learn at a high level without limiting fun!