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August 23, 2018
The Importance of STEM Education for Young Children

Evan-Moor launches STEM activity books to introduce young learners to integrated STEM challenges and hands-on projects

Monterey, CA (August 23, 2018)—Involving children in STEM lessons at an early age not only sets a foundation for higher learning, but allows them to develop necessary skills for successful careers in the future. Lessons grounded in STEM support curiosity, teamwork, and creativity, and encourage children to think critically and solve real-world problems. Evan-Moor recently introduced Smart Start: STEM activity books to provide preschool, kindergarten, and first grade children with STEM activities that can easily be completed at home with the guidance of a parent.

What Is STEM?

STEM is an acronym. It stands for science, technology, engineering, and math.

• Science is the study and understanding of the natural world.
• Technology refers to tools and simple machines that make work easier.
• Engineering is using tools to plan and design a solution to a problem.
• Math is the study and understanding of shapes, numbers, and patterns.

Rather than teach each of these subjects separately, STEM integrates all subjects with hands-on projects and challenges. Most lessons involve children working together as a team to solve relevant problems. This will ultimately show children how their studies can be applied to the real world.

For example, a STEM challenge for a first grader could be as follows:

• Design a bridge that will allow people to drive over a river. The bridge must be able to hold the weight of at least 3 cars (toy cars).

For this challenge, students need to collaborate and communicate with their peers to solve the problem. Students must think about:

• Gravity and other forces acting on the bridge (science)
• Tools needed to make the bridge (technology)
• Planning, designing, and making the bridge (engineering)
• Shapes and angles of materials, and weight of the toy cars (math)

Why Is STEM Important?

• STEM encourages children to explore their imaginations, ask questions, and solve problems on their own.
• STEM lessons are fun and hands-on, as they allow children to learn while “playing.”
• Learning by doing is essential for young learners to grasp concepts.
• The connection to real-world problems allows a deeper understanding of concepts.
• Most importantly, STEM lessons foster a love for learning as children strengthen their skills and gain self-efficacy when they complete challenges.
• STEM lessons are created to challenge children to think critically.
• STEM education invites children to be creative, ask questions, and collaborate with others to find solutions.
• Children learn that failure is okay. It teaches them to keep pushing through hard problems.

New Smart Start: STEM Activity Books

Evan-Moor recently released a STEM activity book for children in preschool through first grade: Smart Start: STEM. Ideal for enrichment at home or for classroom activities, the STEM challenges and activities encourage children to think creatively and explore different ideas to solve problems. Parents act as facilitators, guiding their children through the problem-solving process.

Topics within each STEM challenge target earth, life, and physical science. Each unit covers a specific scientific concept and includes:

• Science story: Introduces each science concept
• Colorful practice activities: Support children’s understanding
• STEM story: Fictional story with a problem to solve
• STEM challenge: Hands-on activity to solve a problem
• STEM journal: Provides a planning outline to help complete the challenge activity

About Evan-Moor Educational Publishers

Evan-Moor Educational Publishers has been “Helping Children Learn” since 1979, publishing high-quality resource materials for both teachers and parents across the PreK–8th-grade curriculum.

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