Wondering about the benefits of STEM activities in elementary? You’re in the right place! If you know me, you know I love STEM activities and it’s so fun to see our young students light up when they are wrapped up and fully engaged in STEM learning.
What is STEM and why is it important?
STEM is essentially an integrated approach to learning that incorporates four key disciplines: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. These subjects are at the heart of many of the world’s most pressing challenges and exciting opportunities, so it’s important that we get our kiddos comfortable with it from an early age.
Here are some of the top benefits of STEM activities:
STEM Activities Foster Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving
STEM challenges are like brain-boosting exercises for our young learners. They help our students flex their thinking muscles by encouraging them to ask questions, explore solutions, and adapt their strategies when faced with hurdles. It’s all about honing those essential problem-solving skills that will serve them well in school and beyond.
Tip: To make this even more exciting, encourage your students to team up and work together. When they brainstorm and chat about their ideas, it can take their critical thinking skills to a whole new level!
Promotes a Love for Learning
Let’s make learning an adventure! STEM challenges turn the classroom into a place where students can have a blast while they learn. Children are naturally curious, and these activities tap into that curiosity. When kids are having fun, they’re more likely to remember what they’ve learned and develop a deep love for STEM subjects.
Tip: Choose challenges that match your students’ interests. Whether it’s building, experimenting, or exploring, let their passions lead the way. And don’t forget to weave in some fun stories and real-world examples to keep them engaged.
Builds Confidence and Resilience
Completing STEM challenges is a wonderful confidence booster! When students conquer obstacles and see their ideas come to life, they walk a little taller and believe in themselves, and what teacher wouldn’t love that?! Plus, they learn that mistakes are just stepping stones to success. That kind of resilience is a life skill that will stay with them long after they leave your classroom.
Tip: Celebrate every little success with your students. Emphasize the value of hard work and not giving up, even when things get tough. Encourage them to look back on their mistakes as opportunities to grow and do even better in the next challenge.
Looking for the perfect STEM challenge? Here are some super fun and engaging STEM challenges to try with your students:
Be the teacher they remember with these engaging STEM Activities! Kids will have a blast learning about blueprints, floor plans, area, design, and writing while doing these activities! Use the book, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff as a HOOK with this STEM activity! Check it out!
Are you looking for an engaging STEM Challenge to enhance your space unit or to teach how the first man landed on the moon? This is a great challenge for students to use materials to create a Lunar Lander module to test for a soft landing with their “shock absorbers.”
Are you looking for some fun STEM ideas to incorporate into building math geometry skills with 2D and 3D Shapes? I have you covered with these Build A Shape Mats! Print and laminate. Students build it with toothpicks and molding dough (you can use marshmallows or gumdrops instead), count the toothpicks, sides, vertices, and trace the words!
I hope you love these activities and that your students have lots of fun with them! Looking for more tips for STEM learning? Check out my post here!