Experiential Learning: An effective tool to teach STEM
Why DOING is important to understand STEM concepts?
Experiential learning is a process of learning by doing and reflecting on the experience. Essentially, it is hands-on learning based on experimentation through trial and error. Experiential learning provides the foundation for critical thinking and problem solving through trial and error. This then would lay the process and groundwork for deeper learning to understand how things work. From a neuroscience perspective, an effective approach to early childhood STEM [STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math] education is through Experiential Learning whilst leveraging the parallels of early brain development. A recent report from the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop clearly supports the benefits of Experiential Learning and its impact on “early” STEM learning.
To teach STEM education for pre-K and elementary school children, I launched a picture book series that center around Pumpus the pumpkin, who happens to be an inventor. In each story, Pumpus and his friends solve a problem from an invention perspective. Leveraging my skills as a Neuroscientist, my stories use “BOON-dah’s Experiential Learning Platform” to teach STEM using a pragmatic approach by capitalizing on the parallels of early brain development to explain how things work through hearing, seeing and doing. As a testament to our story platform, Midwest Book Review had recently reviewed our second book “Pumpus Has a Flowing Idea!” and quoted as, “It is a short tale that highlights innovation and creative thinking while introducing scientific principles.”
Experiential Learning, STEM and the Brain – What it’s all about?
Experiential Learning is the process of learning through experience.
We need to focus STEM education through hands-on experimentation whilst leveraging early brain development.
By changing our approach to elementary education through Experiential Learning, we can plant the seeds of creativity in our children at an early age to inspire them to be “STEM smart“.
Praba is a children’s book author of a STE(A)M series for Pre-K and Elementary School Children. He uses creative illustrations to teach STEM concepts from an experiential learning perspective. His books have been recently reviewed by Midwest Reviews and have also been nominated as the “2016 Children’s Literary Contest Finalist” for the Pacific North West Association Award. Praba’s motivation to write stories for children, especially girls, is to inspire them to take STEM careers as women currently hold a disproportionately low share of STEM undergraduate degrees, particularly in engineering. He is an avid blogger and blogs on STEM and Experiential Learning. For more information, visit us at: http://www.boon-dah.com/books