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Key Principles to help you evaluate popular programs to ensure your learning goals are being met.
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STEM is a hot topic for
parents. It's clear that well-developed science, technology, engineering and
math skills will help kids in numerous ways today and decades down the road.
Some schools have adopted STEM curriculums while others have STEM-focused
after-school activities. What's more, some parents are opting for STEM
enrichment programs outside of the classroom to give their child an educational
Engineering stands out to many
parents as a particularly important component of STEM. However, it can be
difficult to know if a particular activity is really helping your child
understand age-appropriate engineering concepts. If you're going to invest your
time and money into a program, you want to ensure it's providing a rich and
meaningful experience for your child.
Many programs claim to be STEM
focused but really are not. Before signing up, ask the program directors how
all four disciplines of STEM are represented in the program. Oftentimes one
discipline is dominant in the activity, however, others should be present to
support and enhance the project. It's the intermingling of all four disciplines
that helps children better understand concepts and enjoy a well-rounded
Engineering must be a driving
factor in the class because it's the unifying thread throughout STEM. The
Engineering Design Process (EDP) should be present in some manner in any
program. This will ensure your child receives a quality experience that
reflects the process used by engineers in the real world.
EDP is a methodical series of
steps that engineers use to create and solve problems. It's critical to
complete each step before moving to the next. In general, the steps of EDP
Bricks 4 Kidz
offers STEM-focused classes that give kids the opportunity to work through
the EDP process. For example, kids who sign up for a Bricks 4 Kidz robotics
class build a robot using LEGO® Bricks and other components. They follow a
step-by-step plan that allows them to create and use engineering ingenuity to
build, test, solve problems and ultimately create a really awesome
In the end, kids will learn
about important engineering processes through hands-on applications, giving
them a great sense of accomplishment. There simply isn't a better way to boost
your child's interest in STEM and teach them about engineering! Learn more
about classes and camps at http://www.bricks4kidz.com/calgary
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