STEM education vital for development of preschoolers
  • | VNS | April 13, 2024 09:05 AM
Kindergartens are proactively integrating STEM in their curriculum to foster students’ holistic development through experiential activities and interdisciplinary learning.

Students from Thủ Đức City’s Tam Phú Preschool make mini air balloons during a STEM lesson. Photo

STEM is an acronym for science, technology, engineering, and maths.

In Thủ Đức City’s Tam Phú Preschool, students from class Lá 1 (Leaf class 1, aged five to six years) recently had a STEM class in which they made mini hot air balloons from craft materials.

With teachers’ guidance, the preschoolers stuck plastic straws to balloons and glued them to plastic cups.

They were excited to see their mini creations going up in the air, teacher Nguyễn Liêu Phượng told Tuổi Trẻ (Youth) newspaper.

She said the school integrated STEM education in its curriculum at the beginning of this school year.

Students in her class have made items like vehicles, houses and boats using simple and easy-to-find craft materials, she said.

This new educational approach has been well received by parents, she added.

Deputy head of the Thủ Đức City's Division of Education and Training, Triệu Tuyết Mai, said before the school year began the agency had organised training courses in STEM teaching for kindergarten teaching staff and members of school boards.

The department said it would encourage more preschools to adopt STEM education.

In Sasuke Preschool in Hà Nội’s Thanh Xuân District, STEM lessons are based on students’ ages.

For example, “pre-STEM” lessons designed for children aged one to three provide students with realistic, suitable activities to introduce them to basic concepts of STEM.

STEM education equips preschool students with soft skills such as teamwork and basic concepts in technology and science, Bùi Thanh Anh, principal of MerryStar Preschool in Hanoi, told a STEM training course in HCM City.

It also helps children explore their potential by exposing them to various skills and concepts and encouraging them to think critically, enhancing their problem-solving ability, she said.

Ngô Thúy Anh, head of the Đồng Tháp Province's Kindergarten and Primary Education Division, said STEM lessons allow students to participate in interdisciplinary learning, in which concepts of science, technology, engineering, and maths, are combined instead of being taught separately.

“Through this learning system, children are able to acquire basic knowledge as well as the know-how to expand, apply, and adjust what they learn in real-life situations.”

Phan Thị Hoàn, an official from the Hương Khê District education division in Hà Tĩnh Province, said STEM-related activities are beneficial not only for students but also teachers themselves.

They require teachers to constantly find exciting and creative teaching approaches to make their lessons more engaging and reduce the repetition and boredom associated with conventional teaching, she said.

But there are challenges facing schools like hers such as a lack of STEM infrastructure, learning tools and funding.

“Flooding and other natural disasters have also made it harder for schools in the area to build STEM facilities for their students.”

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