The entire STEM education initiative is intended to address a major issue: the lack of student interest in STEM careers. Agencies have been formed and companies have been created to investigate solutions to this problem. Extensive budgets and entire divisions of school district personnel have been allocated to funnel resources to develop STEM-focused initiatives. Will all of this effort, why is the lack of student interest in STEM a problem? Well, our future depends on finding a solution. We need innovators. We need creators. We need people to resolve unforeseen problems and understand unforeseen concepts. All of us at some point have already benefitted from these types of people, whether it’s by taking medicine, using a smart phone, or fueling up a vehicle. The time is now to stand on the shoulders of these giants and move forward.
The REAL Problem
Although those of us in the STEM education field are diligently working to solve this problem, we at STEMscopes are taking a moment of reflection to ask ourselves, “Though we are working hard to solve this problem, are we working smart?”
The SMART STEM Answer
If you had a hole in your bucket, when is the best time to fix it? Some people argue the best thing to do is to empty the bucket of water and then fix it. Some want to keep the water and try to fix the hole when it is small. However, STEMscopes has looked at research and brain development and made the not-so-groundbreaking decision to build a bucket that is strong enough to never have holes.
Dr. Montessori wrote, "The most important period of life is not the age of university studies, but the first one, the period from birth to the age of six. For that is the time when man's intelligence itself, his greatest implement, is being formed. But not only his intelligence; the full totality of his psychic powers… At no other age has the child a greater need of an intelligent help, and any obstacle that impedes his creative work will lessen the chance he has of achieving perfection."
Introducing STEMscopes Early Explorer
We encourage districts and schools to put time, effort, and budgets into building strong buckets. The newest product from STEMscopes, Early Explorer (name subject to change), is a curriculum founded on scientific content standards and best teaching practices integrated into top-quality STEM lessons for our youngest STEM learners. Research has repeatedly shown that engaging students in Early Childhood education is the most effective way to positively influence their future. So instead of fixing potential bucket holes or waiting until it is too late, we have developed a curriculum that lays a foundation for love of STEM with opportunities for innovation and creativity at the very beginning of a child’s educational career. Our hope is that the Early Childhood students of today will grow into the innovators, creators, and problem solvers of tomorrow! STEMscopes Early Explorer will be released in 2014.