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Women in Engineering: A Spatial Problem?

Spatial ability or reasoning is another mathematical skill that refers to the capacity to comprehend, reason, and draw conclusions about objects in three dimensions. Spatial thinking is visualizing through our “mind’s eye”: A routine mental act performed by engineers and architects to design buildings, or chemists to predict the three-dimensional structure of a molecule, or a surgeon to navigate the human body. According to a recent National Science Foundation report, “only 19 percent” of women earned degrees in engineering. One of the key factors found to be attributed for this decline: Spatial Skills – which also happens to be a strong predictor of success in STEM (Science, Technology, Eng

TINKERING: A SYSTEMIC REQUIREMENT FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

Why tinkering is important to understand STEM concepts, especially for girls? “Women currently hold a disproportionately low share of STEM undergraduate degrees, particularly in engineering” [STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math]. Recent data seem to attribute this decline to the lack of adequate STEM education during Pre-K and Elementary school years. As a father of an elementary school child, my approach to teach STEM concepts to my daughter is through experimenting with tools, also called “Tinkering”. What is Tinkering and how is it related to Experiential Learning? Tinkering is learning by doing! It is the first step in the Experiential Learning continuum. Tinkering

You Need Roots To Grow STEM

Why there is an urgent need to teach STEM to Pre-K and Elementary School Children? Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education has gained a significant amount of attention over the last several years. Recent studies have identified Pre-K and Elementary school years as the formative period when children develop their interests in STEM—which is much earlier than most people believed! However, there is a lack of adequate STEM education during Pre-K and Elementary school years that results in a progressive decline in pursuing STEM careers by students from middle to high school and beyond. When to introduce STEM for children? Neuroscience research has taught us how a child’s brain

The Engine of STEM Gains STEAM

Why comics are a powerful tool for teaching STEAM? STEAM takes the standard acronym of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) and inserts an A for Arts. How could arts help teach STEM concepts for Pre-K and Elementary School children? Answer: Picture books that accentuates experiential learning. Picture books that teach STEAM concepts using a hands-on approach can have a powerful impact on children in nourishing their interest in STEAM from early childhood into adulthood. For Pre-K and elementary school children, picture books are the primary drivers in the continuum of STEAM learning: we remember 30% of what we see and 90% of what we do! What would building a simple motor teach a

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