The E in STEAM
The E in STEAM stands for Engineering. Engineering in STEAM helps little ones learn how and why things work. Simple engineering concepts include learning cause and effect, creating, building, and problem-solving. Create an environment that is rich in a variety of materials. Some possible building materials to incorporate into your setting are wooden blocks in various sizes, cloth blocks, cardboard boxes, paper and plastic cups, bowls and plates, nesting cups, baking sheets, and cardboard tubes from paper towels or wrapping paper. Provide assorted toys such as balls, cars, and animals. When looking for materials to bring out, think about ones that are safe, open-ended, and can be combined with other materials/toys.
Here are 7 easy Engineering ideas to incorporate into your setting:
by Andrew Roszak
Executive Director, The Institute for Childhood Preparedness
With natural disasters on the rise, many child care programs have endured floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, and severe weather conditions. These programs face many obstacles when re-opening, including a lack of electricity, supplies, fresh drinking water, and food, as well as the on-set of fear and mental health conditions in children.
We are always searching for new ways to make child care providers and teachers more resilient. One new trend is to incorporate principles of STREAM into early childhood education – to help students learn about S: Science, T: Technology, R: Reading, E: Engineering, A: Arts, and M: Math.
In the absence of a standard operating environment, and without creature comforts – such as electricity, providers may want to think about how they can incorporate the principles of STREAM in a post-disaster setting.