Did you know that the invaluable windscreen wiper was invented by Mary Anderson? Or that the incredibly tough lightweight fabric Kevlar (used for armour) was invented by Stephanie Kwolek? We didn’t either until we read the BBC’s fantastic feature on women inventors and this got us thinking about how we promote STEM skills and innovation in our nurseries.
STEM, a term initiated by the National Science Foundation, is an educational approach which focusses on the four areas of science, technology, engineering and maths. In an era when these disciplines are revolutionising how we do things, STEM is all around us – at home and in our community – and developing children’s skills and encouraging their interests in STEM is key.
At Bright Horizons, we’re very passionate about STEM and STEM skills are promoted in our nurseries too! Children are introduced and encouraged to take part in a wide variety of STEM activities through our bespoke Growing Enhancements, including Growing Mathematicians and Growing Scientists, and some of our children’s favourite STEM activities (and ours!) include playing with water, building ramps, going on nature walks, cooking, creating towers and gardening.
In addition to promoting STEM through our many activities, we’re also proud to partner with many leading STEM organisations in the technology, engineering, financial, manufacturing, pharmaceutical and high education sectors, and who have shared their unique expertise and experience and promoted STEM activities in each of their nurseries and back-up care centres.
Our Campus Kids Nursery, located at a leading university, recently visited the university’s learning and outreach space telescope, which prompted the children to explore planets and the solar system. Our Talbot Woods Nursery, also located at a leading university, explored the university biodome and how we grow plants and understand environmental factors.
To help children understand energy and construction, our Acorns Nursery situation on-site at a global energy organisation are also launching a new Lego Construction Club. Working in partnership with the organisation and its talented people, the children will design, test and build using lego bricks, which have been custom designed to develop children’s knowledge and skills in science, technology and engineering through play.
STEM activities have really brought learning to life and have promoted science, technology, engineering and maths to our children. The children thoroughly enjoy problem solving, working as a team and thinking critically and we hope our children continue to grow confidence and develop an interest in STEM.
Click here to find out more about some of our favourite STEM activities
which you can try at home too!