Exploring STEM With Fort Magic
Posted March 20, 2020 by Fort Magic
If you’re wanting to set your kids up for a successful future and encourage healthy, complex brain development then you’ve probably heard of STEM. It’s becoming a vital part of our children’s classrooms because of the overwhelming research that tells us how vital it is to develop. You can use a Fort Magic building kit to take that learning outside of the classroom and encourage STEM skills at home!
STEM Building Benefits for Cognitive Development
STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. A STEM classroom utilizes hands-on learning and encourages critical thinking as well as creative abilities. It’s a relatively new approach to education and is being integrated into classrooms all over the country. There are even schools specifically dedicated to STEM learning because of how much of an impact it has on a child’s development.
Cognition is our ability to acquire knowledge. Cognitive development is a part of brain development and is the process by which children think and figure things out. Children who learn in a STEM environment develop significantly greater cognitive abilities than children in a traditional classroom.
How STEM Building Influences Brain Development
Research shows that integrating STEM into education helps children to learn quickly. It develops and strengthens pathways in the brain and helps the brain to grow more complex. It also helps kids commit more material into long-term memory. Here are some ways STEM can affect your child’s brain development through the years.
1. During the Preschool Years
During the preschool years, kids have a natural tendency to explore and learn on their own. However, in our technology-ridden culture, it’s important to be intentional with getting our kids off screens and out doing what they’re naturally inclined to do. Why should we do this?
Because, as it turns out, this natural tendency to explore and learn is actually a crucial part of brain development. During the preschool years, a child’s brain is experiencing rapid growth, especially in the part of the brain that regulates emotions. However, if kids don’t use pathways in the brain, then it goes through a process called synaptic pruning. So, all that potential children have for more complex brains are lost if it’s not used.
2. During the Elementary Years
Instilling a love of learning is at a vital point during the elementary years. Before this, children have a natural curiosity for learning. It’s this curiosity that drives them to explore and learn on their own.
Starting in about the third grade, kids start to lose their motivation to learn. That’s why it’s important to encourage their curiosity and help them to keep that drive to learn. If you foster a love for learning during these years then that will translate into a lifelong love of learning.
3. During the Teenage Years
STEM skills are important during the teen years because it helps set kids up for a successful future. In fact, jobs in the STEM fields are increasing at twice the rate as other fields. Even if your child doesn’t go into a STEM field, getting a degree in a STEM field will help them make about twice as much as those who don’t.
Many school programs now encourage robotics, computer programming, and other STEM fields. These environments also provide a collaborative learning environment that helps our youth learn important skills for the workforce.
4. STEM in the Adult Years
It’s never too late to start learning or using STEM skills. Learning these skills will improve your success in the workplace as well as encourage creative pathways in your brain. Learning these skills will also help you to naturally parent your children in a way that encourages their own STEM skills.
Take Your Fort Building Outside
With warm weather approaching, why not take your fort building outside! You can turn your backyard into an obstacle course with a fort building kit. Or, you can set up a clubhouse or a lemonade stand in your front yard. Why not see how tall of a rocket ship you can build since you won’t have the constraints of a ceiling?
As it gets hot, you can even set up a water spray park right in your very own yard. You can use the same ideas that you used for your obstacle course and add water. For example, you can attach a hose with a spray tip to parts of your obstacle course for your kids to run through. In another part of the course, they can pick up water balloons to throw at each other.
Babble Dabble Do Blog: One of our absolute favorite blogs for learning, art, and hands-on education. The Babble Dabble Do blog will inspire hours of creativity and awesomely-educational playtime in your home. A must-see blog for sure.