Preschool time is not too early to teach STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) subjects. Next fall, three teachers will launch Explorer Academy in Prompton Lakes, New Jersey, USA, to prove it. According to Karen Connolly, “STEM is so important on the early-childhood level. It teaches these kids to be thinkers. It teaches them to be problem solvers. It teaches them to work together in groups.”
At Explorer Academy, the young students will be learning the basics of math, engineering and coding through trial and error, using little programmable tools called Bee-Bots. For example, they will be able to program a bot in order to build a maze and navigate it. Many of the STEM concepts will be prestented through friendly and interesting scenarios like the "Three Little Pigs" narrative to encourage the kids to build model homes and test their strength with a hairdryer. “A lot of STEM on an early-childhood level is story-based. We ask them the questions, and they figure out how to solve them, explains Connolly.”
Explorer Academy will open in September with two classes of 20 pupils, and the potential for expansion into four classes. We wish students and teachers every success!
Picture: Cathy Feld, the director of the new Explorer Academy at St. Mary's in Pompton Lakes, shows a child the root system of a pothos plant (Courtesy of Explorer Acadamey at St. Mary's, w/Effects)