FSC STEM Statement
STEM CAN STAND FOR A LOT!
The more we discover about babies’ amazing learning capacities, the more we can promote their optimal development in effective ways. Many different kinds of experiences can have big impacts on little children, and often we want to start early!
Many people – families, educators, policy makers and legislators – want to boost children’s outcomes by encouraging successful development in STEM: the catch phrase for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Many school programs are building STEM opportunities and activities for children and youth.
Because the early roots of STEM knowledge and skill take hold during the infant and toddler years, it makes sense to be thinking about the critical role family and caregivers play in helping early STEM capacities along – even before infants and toddlers can walk or talk! We know how much practice STEM skills take, and how much assistance and care children need to master them.
So let’s consider what it takes to Start STEM with Babies!
The Family Study Center is committed to understanding, supporting and advocating for families with young children to promote healthy and successful development for all. Research on the foundations for all healthy development have pointed us toward an exclusive “take” on how STEM starts…
T OGETHERNESS IN
Infants and toddlers can learn so much about their world! But the best learning happens with the care of adults. Babies’ brains have tremendous potential – but they are also vulnerable to too much stress and overstimulation OR to not enough interaction and attention. This is where important people come in! Loved and loving ones:
- Look for moments throughout each day to spend unhurried, 1-on-1 time together with babies
- Follow babies’ attention and interest, and encourage them as they explore
- Help babies focus on important people, sounds, sights and events – guiding them as to where they might look, then letting them discover for themselves what there is to see!
- Use consistent daily routines to help babies make connections among activities in their world
- Share in babies’ excitement and joy as they make sense of everyday “puzzles”, because that joy of discovery will become their motivation for later STEM ideas and problem-solving
Babies’ natural curiosity and interest in exploration and discovery is boosted when they have sensitive caregivers whose care and play help connect the joy of love and togetherness with the building of knowledge and the creation of new ideas. Experiencing the joy of discovery is what motivates STEM professionals as adults, and so being together with babies as they begin exploring and discovering is something we can all do for babies throughout each day!
Use Sensitive Togetherness in Everyday Moments as the earliest path to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math – Infants and Toddlers love of learning develops best in loving relationships.