November 8 is National STEM/STEAM Day, and we’re excited to celebrate! The day is an opportunity to focus on helping kids advance in the fields of science, technology, engineering, art, and math. Creating understanding around STEM and STEAM is a big topic of conversation today. Statistics show few American students pursue expertise in STEM fields—and we have an inadequate pipeline of teachers skilled in those subjects. On the flipside of that the need for STEM oriented job skills are skyrocketing.
"Introducing kids as young as six or seven years old to STEAM can vastly improve their development in crucial areas ranging from rational thinking to everyday social and emotional skills,” stated Krishna Vedati, CEO and Co-founder at Tynker, a learning system that teaches kids to code. “More and more careers will require STEAM skills, and getting children curious about math and science at a young age gives them a base layer to build upon. It’s our mission to help kids to become the makers of our future – by introducing these topics via gamified and interest-based learning, we turn challenging subjects into fun activities kids can easily grasp and truly enjoy."
There are many great ways for kids to celebrate National STEAM Day today and all year long, at home and in the classroom. Here are five places to start:
- Show off what they know. We know that project-based learning helps reinforce important concepts – let your kids create a program or mini-game explaining and exploring STEAM topics. Your kids can bring lessons to life and show off everything they’ve worked hard to learn. Tynker offers various tutorials throughout the year – like our Halloween and Fall coding projects or the Summer Code-A-Thon – to give kids a launching point for their creativity. Featured Maker Rebecca even presented her anti-bullying Tynker project to her whole school.
- Turn everyday occurrences into learning opportunities. What better way to celebrate National STEAM Day than to bring STEAM to life? If it’s raining, teach your kids about the how’s and why’s of the water cycle. During election season, spark their curiosity about how voting relies on math and percentages. Teachers can take advantage of a huge selection of STEM tutorials, and parents can get kids started on our Hour of Code STEM activities.
- Engage their interests. Learning is a lot easier when it’s driven by genuine interest. Ask your child what they’re curious about – whether it’s the ocean’s tides, groundbreaking women in history, or the life cycle of a butterfly – and help them explore their curiosity as they learn. Tynker offers a range of interest-based activities, from drones to LEGO to Minecraft.
- Artists – “give me an A!” Art has earned itself an A, turning STEM to STEAM. Don’t forget that the young artists in your household play an important role – the value of creativity is essential to every scientist and programmer out there. Kids who are more interested in the arts than technology (and vice versa) can absolutely branch into the whole STEAM spectrum – just ask Featured Makers Gabriella and Caiti.
- Mix it up. Switch up your routine to make STEAM Day feel special. Parents can pack a creative lunch or snack (string cheese octopus, anyone?) and include fun educational facts (Did you know octopi are one of the few animals who use tools?). Teachers can get in on the fun, too – plan special hands-on STEAM activities.
Programs such as Tynker help kids around the world access a STEAM education and develop important 21st century skills like programming, creativity, and problem-solving. They offer schools STEM tutorials that integrate programming into a wide range of subjects, from geometry to social studies, and our platform has allowed kids to create original artistic projects and write more than 2.4 BILLION lines of code.
It’s easy and fun to celebrate National STEAM Day.