The push for STEM emphasis in homes and classrooms is familiar by now. STEM fields are primarily dominated by white and Asian males, with little movement in the past 15 years despite significant efforts to change those numbers and diversify the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.
But research is showing that, when it comes to STEM education, early exposure is even more crucial than educators and researchers had thought. Determined to provide a place where young students could experience rigorous, discovery-based, teacher-led, hands-on STEM learning, Growing IQ was launched when two dads became concerned over the trajectory of STEM education for U.S. students.
Engagement with sequencing, pattern recognition, and the drive to ask questions, discover, and explore occur at very young ages – children are prime for this kind of learning and interaction beginning at the toddler ages.New research is implying that educators and parents should tap into these natural stages and leverage this period to lay the foundation for STEM education.
New research has shown that early exposure to STEM (as early as preschool!) has been connected to a later open-mindedness to work in science, better problem solving skills, and higher speeds of gaining new skills. Early exposure to STEM learning has also been identified as an early predictor of stronger math and even reading skills down the road for students.
But early exposure to STEM can be hard to incorporate into your child’s curriculum in addition to their regular schoolwork. For Frisco parents, one of the solutions to the STEM dilemma is just around the corner, at Growing IQ.
Uma Mohan, owner of the Frisco location, emphasizes the focus on children learning through collaboration, inquiry, and sensory engagement.
Pattern recognition, tangible engagement with concepts, extensive use of manipulatives and materials throughout the learning process, a deep comprehension of mathematical concepts, and group participation are effective tools for instilling in children an understanding that will go with them beyond the classroom.
Growing IQ integrates all of these concepts into their programming, providing children with multi-dimensional and sensory experiences that helps them embody an understanding of math in a more holistic way.
Rather than using traditional grades or curriculum benchmarks to determine placement, Growing IQ teaches children in groups based on current knowledge and ability. This helps teachers truly engage students at their current knowledge level and helps students actively participate, coaching and learning from one another. Uma says,
We prefers the acronym “STEAM” (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) to “STEM” because of our emphasis on the integration of the arts into science and math. In fact, we partner with preschools to provide toddlers with early exposure to math through music using a unique curriculum called M3 (Math, Music, Motion).
The programming uses music and movement to help students begin to understand and embody math understanding, through stimulating cognitive development, rhythm, pattern recognition, and sequencing.
For parents searching for opportunities to expose their young children to STEM during the summer months, Growing IQ is offering fantastic summer camp opportunities for building STEAM understanding. Each camp is 5 weeks long, and each week is built around a different theme that involves hands-on STEAM-based activities.
Camp tuition is $295/week and runs from 9:30-3:30 each day, with extended hour options available for extra cost. An early bird discount, reducing the tuition by $50 as long as a student is enrolled for at least 3 camp weeks, is available until April 20th.
Additionally, Growing IQ is partnering with the Frisco Public Library to host a number of events that provide the opportunity for parents to come with their children to participate in hands-on activities, games, experiments, and crafts that emphasize STEAM learning.
- Thursday, June 7 from 6:00 -8:00 p.m.: Family Science Night
- Wednesday, June 27 from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.: Character Camp
- Wednesday, July 11 from 3:00 -4:00 p.m.: Wacky Weather
- Wednesday, July 18 from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.: Art in Action
- Wednesday, July 25 from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.: The Human Body Experience
Mohan reminds parents,
When children are introduced to the ‘STEM’ based activities early on, they’ll start to evolve as critical thinkers, problem solvers, and communicate their reasoning with confidence in any given situation.
At Growing IQ, we engage children in collaborative, sensory-rich experiences, empowering them to analyze, discover, examine, reason, think critically, and take ownership of their mathematical learning.
There are no downsides to helping your child gain a stronger understanding of math… No matter what their focus or field an understanding of STEM concepts will serve them well for a lifetime. With lots of spare time in front of us, use this summer as an opportunity to build a strong educational foundation with the fantastic programming that Growing IQ offers, just around the corner!