STEM: FOUR SUBJECTS, ONE ACRONYM
The STEM acronym identifies four key learning areas: Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. This acronym was created in 1990 by the National Science Foundation to define an interdisciplinary approach to teaching. These four subjects are taught to students by emphasizing the links between them, to show how they co-exist in daily life. The use of STEM toys such as Geomag encourages children to start this particular type education from an early age.
The next step in the development of this concept could see the acronym change to STEAM through the addition of Art. This is an educational subject that we are already promoting through our Geomag Kor line, which children can use to create true works of magnetic art.
WHAT MAKES A TOY STEM:
There are specific criteria to identify STEM toys:
• they must be linked to at least one of the 4 subjects, but the most effective toys are the ones where the different fields are combined;
• the toy must have a clear objective, but without limiting the child to a one-way solution;
• it needs to be fun, because all toys have to bring enjoyment to children.
THE ADVANTAGES OF STEM TOYS
The strong points of STEM toys are basically 4.
Children develop problem solving abilities by working out different solutions.
Children use their imagination to find unique solutions to problems.
Children can improve this ability, which is essential for STEM development.
Spatial ability and awareness
Children are able to remember the link between different objects and use mental rotation - the ability to imagine the rotation of 2D and 3D objects.