I partnered with Sourcebooks and Doodle Pants to bring you this post on STEM and why it is important to introduce STEM to kids at a young age. Products were gifted to me in exchange for my honest review. As always, all opinions are my own.
What Is STEM
STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. These topics are subjects that often times have not been introduced to youth until the middle to high school grades. Studies are now showing why it is important to introduce STEM to kids at a younger age. Research has demonstrated that the drive to explore, interact, and observe in human beings begins in early childhood. Long before middle and high school, and even before elementary school.
STEM curriculum blends those subjects in order to teach 21st-century skills, or tools students need to have if they wish to succeed in the workplace of the future. The idea is that in order to be prepared for jobs and compete with students from different parts of the world, students here in the US need to be able to solve problems, find and use evidence, collaborate on projects, and think critically. Skills that are taught in the STEM subjects.
Why Introduce STEM to Kids At A Young Age
Research has proven time and time again that the early childhood years, particularly birth to 5, is the most critical point in brain development. Studies have shown that 90% of a child’s brain develops by age 5. At birth, the average baby’s brain is about a quarter of the size of the average adult brain. Which doubles in size in the first year. Then keeps growing to about 80% of adult size by age 3 and 90% by age 5. This proves the importance to introduce STEM to kids at a young age.
During the infants and toddler years, children develop 700 neural connections every second! Making this the optimal time to introduce STEM to kids at a young age. Experts further describe that this sensitive period of development must be utilized to start children on the right path to be successful in STEM. Going on to say that once these neurological pathways are developed, they go through a process in which connections that are not used are eliminated. Making it harder for kids, adolescents, and teens to learn and fully utilize this information successfully.
Studies by the National Science Teachers Association show that young children learn through active exploration and the drive to observe, interact, discover, and explore is inherent in their development. It is during these years that many in the education community believe that evidenced-based STEM curricula should begin. Setting children on a path to develop a love of scientific inquiry. In addition to developing an interest and knowledge base for STEM and enhanced inquiry skills, experts say that science instruction improves abilities in subjects outside of STEM, including literacy, language-learning, math, and executive functioning.
Sourcebooks By Chris Ferrie
Chris Ferrie is a father of four from Australia who has created a line of STEM books for children. Chris has a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics, works in academic research in the field of quantum physics and is also a senior lecturer at the University of Technology Sydney and Centre for Quantum Software and Information.
With book topics ranging from Quantum Physics and General Relativity to Rocket Science and Robotics. All of his books are geared for “babies” or ideally children birth to five. All of his books are simplified to be easy to understand by both parents and young children alike. Each board book has a simplified approach, including limited words per page and colorful pictures. This line of STEM books for babies can be found in many places, such as Amazon and Target.com. Chris seems to understand the need to introduce STEM to kids at a young age and that is why he created this line of books.
Help your little one dress the part with the adorable Doodle Pants Space collection! Doodle Pants offers adorable apparel for babies and toddlers. Their clothing is crafted to spark the imaginations of your little ones. While providing comfortable and practical options for a wide range of activities. From swimwear to hooded sweatshirts, to their signature Doodle Pants leggings, you can find vibrant, comfy, and affordable apparel for your baby/ toddler. All of Doodle Pants products are designed to fit the unique needs of young children. From leggings that fit easily over a diaper to bath towels fitted with a cozy hood to keep them extra warm after bath time.
I instantly fell in love with the unique look, patterns, and styles of Doodle Pants. In my opinion, a lot of the styles are gender-neutral, which I appreciate. I also love the sizing. The leggings come in 3 sizes; small (3 to 12 months), medium (12-18 months) and large (18-24 months). This makes each piece last longer and allows more use out of each outfit. They also offer things like bodysuits, tee shirts and sweatshirts in bigger sizes as well. What a fun way to introduce STEM to kids at a young age through fun and adorable clothing!
In Our Home
My husband and I are excited to introduce our little one to STEM from an early age. We are also spreading the love with our niece, who enjoys the books as well. Neither my husband nor I grew up with an interest in STEM subjects and we want our children to be different. Of course, we want our children to follow their own path. But we want to expose them to as much as we can during certain, critical learning periods to broaden their horizon during the proper learning stages in life.
Although these books might look intimidating. I would encourage you to give them a try with your kids to introduce STEM to kids at a young age. My extent of technical knowledge is to turn the electronics off and back on to “fix” the problem. So you don’t need to be a scientist yourself to introduce your children to the language and images of the STEM fields. Between the fun books and adorable clothing, we are sure to spark our baby’s interest in STEM from a young age.