Cultivating curiosity encourages students to think outside the box and explore new avenues for research. It also promotes innovation and an unwavering
Cultivating curiosity encourages students to think outside the box and explore new avenues for research. It also promotes innovation and an unwavering dedication to learning.
The Enduring Appeal of STEM Kits
Students in STEM programs gain the critical thinking and problem-solving skills to serve them well in future careers. These skills, which include coding and digital literacy, will also give kids an edge in a world that is becoming increasingly technologically driven.
STEM kits are designed to help students of all ages understand fundamental science and technology concepts in ways that resonate with them. This includes visual and kinesthetic learners, who sometimes struggle to help with traditional classroom instruction. STEM kits offer a hands-on experience that appeals to these students, resulting in better retention and comprehension.
The Benzonia Public Library has several STEM kits that are available to check out, including the Ozobot Bit Starter Pack, which teaches coding and computing “screen-free” by drawing colorful commands with markers on a piece of paper. The Create-a-Chain Reaction STEM Kit (master set) lets kids build a track with ramps, pendulums and switches to create chain reactions that demonstrate physics principles.
The Enduring Appeal of Curiosity
Curiosity is a powerful force that can spark innovation and creativity. It is often described as a sense of wonder, a desire to explore, and the urge to learn more about something new. Curiosity can be found in all ages and is an essential component of well-being. Research shows that curiosity promotes memory and learning and helps to mitigate degenerative brain conditions such as Alzheimer’s.
While many researchers have explored the concept of curiosity, it has yet to be a concrete construct that can be defined and measured as quickly as other behavioral traits. There are varying perspectives on what constitutes curiosity, with varying levels of agreement on whether it is a motivational prerequisite to exploratory behavior or a sensation-seeking drive.
A standard theory is that people become curious when they discover a gap in their knowledge or are confronted with a novel stimulus (Loewenstein, 1994). Others argue that curiosity is evoked by cognitive conflict and the perception of uncertainty.
The Enduring Appeal of Creativity
Kids can tinker and build with STEM toys to develop spatial skills and creative thinking. They can practice deductive reasoning with science detective toys, mix potions, and grow crystals to learn chemistry. These activities encourage children to take risks and try out new solutions to solve problems. They can be messy and unpredictable, but these experiences are vital to cultivating creativity and promoting innovation.
While the subjects that makeup STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) are not new, grouping them into a pedagogical approach only became a mainstream trend in the early 2000s. The resulting curriculum shift has led to the evolution of modern STEM kits.
Dana Turner, Operations Manager at Activate Learning, explains how pedagogical changes in science education have inspired the design of the next generation of kits. These innovations focus on hands-on, hearts-on, and minds-on learning experiences that empower students and teachers alike. The goal is to foster curiosity, enable students, and grow a love of learning that will last a lifetime.
Read More: 5 Uses for an Old Computer Mouse
The Enduring Appeal of Innovation
Educators are often cautious about innovations, especially those threatening traditional teaching methods. They must be convinced of credible researchers’ value of new ideas and technologies. Federal officials should evaluate claims of innovation with sober minds and avoid jumping on the bandwagon. Innovators are often true believers and have passion and zeal.
The “small i” for innovation is for an individual, organization, or society; however, the “large i” is to create an intelligent future that provides new possibilities for people worldwide. This requires a mixture of complex innovations such as smart gadgets, advanced technologies, convergence strategies, and soft social/cultural innovation to foster an aspirational society (Streitz, 2015).
Whether redefining your association’s mission or implementing new technology for member engagement, allow curious creativity to blossom. Your members will thank you for it. Moreover, remember to give your staff time each week to refill their creative wells.