The Roots of STEM Success
Date posted: April 20, 2018
Even before a child’s first birthday, she is capable of making inferences, drawing conclusions about cause and effect, and reasoning about the probability of events. These roots, which lay the groundwork for later abstract reasoning, must be encouraged through engagement and play in order for inherent tendencies to develop into lifelong STEM thinking skills. (The Roots of STEM Success, p. 5)
The Roots of STEM Success: Changing early learning experiences to build lifelong thinking skills, a recent report from the Center for Childhood Creativity, offers six research-backed findings:
- STEM thinking begins in infancy.
- To become strong STEM thinkers, children need more play.
- STEM amplifies language development; language enables STEM thinking.
- Active, self-directed learning builds STEM skills and interest
- Mindset matters to STEM success.
- Children’s abstract thinking potential can be unlocked through both adult support and executive function skill development.
These findings underline the potential of the early years for STEM learning. The report also highlights the importance of informal learning environments outside the classroom for this early learning.
To read more about the research behind these findings as well as practical tips for activities to encourage STEM early learning, read The Roots of STEM Success: Changing early learning experiences to build lifelong thinking skills.