Although it’s natural to put a large emphasis on learning to read for first grade, it’s also crucial that students’ natural curiosity be utilized to get them excited about concepts related to STEM with engaging and memorable activities.
STEM-focused education that includes science, technology, engineering and mathematics is more important than ever, with studies estimating that STEM workers tend to earn more than 25% more than non-STEM workers and demand for workers in these fields is projected to continue to be strong, indefinitely.
Creativity through STEM activities promotes innovative thinking and when project-based learning is used, opportunities for authentic growth and development present themselves. Students get to see, touch, hear, experiment and create together.
With targeted STEM activities for first grade, teachers are opening the door for students to become tomorrow’s entrepreneurs, movers and shakers. STEM is a way for students to start understanding the world around them with hands-on learning. They can understand more, read and write more and explore more about why things do what they do. STEM can help answer questions they may have and start them down a wonderful path of exploration.
STEM activities and resources for first graders available through The Stem Laboratory provide innumerable options for teachers utilizing projects that feature commonly available items. First grade projects and STEM activities like Toothpick STEM Structures help kids develop abstract thinking, design and build skills as well as 2D and 3D shape recognition and shape knowledge. Using just a box of toothpicks and a container of playdough (or jelly beans, marshmallows or gumdrops) first grade students are ready to start problem solving, while they label the number of vertices and edges and record other relevant data. Other options abound and can easily be incorporated into existing core curriculum to provide creative outlets as well as introduce and reinforce concepts.