Young children cannot be taught STEM skills. For a five-year-old, the practical application of science, technology, engineering, and math is something they can only absorb through experience.
“You live STEM, when you engage with tools and materials,” explains Hal Melnick from Bank Street College of Education. “And, what better place to do that than the classroom with a knowledgeable teacher who sets up the environment so that kids can engage with scientific principles and ideas.”
There is no better material to engage a child in STEM learning than Caroline Pratt’s unit blocks. The unit is “one of the big ideas in mathematics. Math is the study of relationships and the science of pattern. There’s a whole lot of abstract stuff we can talk about later on in life, but it builds from the experience that kids have had with well-organized, well-structured tools like the blocks.”
In this new 3-minute video, Melnick and other educators explain why every school that is serious about STEM education needs to have a strong block play component in their curriculum. Watch now.