Nov
21
2018

A look into STEM Education

STEM is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines:

Science
Technology
Engineering and
Mathematics

in an interdisciplinary and applied approach. Rather than teach the four disciplines as separate and discrete subjects, STEM integrates them into a cohesive learning paradigm based on real-world applications.

It is the end of the academic year for 2018 hence I took the advantage to sign Ethan up for a Parent-Kid Experimental Workshop with me at STEM Academy last Sunday to explore STEM further.

Just the two of us on a Sunday morning while Lil’ Ayden stayed home with Daddy.

The Rocket Coaster caught Ethan’s attention the moment we entered the class. 

Excited and curious of what is in store for us for the next 5 hours, Ethan and I took our seats and waited for the rest of the parent-child teams to arrive. The workshop started off a little draggy as the facilitator took too much time explaining STEM education to us. The children were getting restless but all eyes lit up again when it was time for us to start with the first challenge. 

Each team were given different tasks that comes with a bag of mystery items in it. 

Our challenge was to build a home for our bird family with the given materials. 

Ethan and I discussed it over and he decided to build a nest with the paper plate and placed it high on a tree made of toilet paper roll. I let him do most of the job, assisting him only when he needed my help. 

He was also given the task to write a report of his challenge stating what difficulties he faced and how he overcame them. 

Source: Ethan’s IG

While Ethan was engrossed in putting the finishing touches to his creation, special VIP guest Dato’ Dr. Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, our country’s very first astronaut made his appearance. He stopped at our table to admire Ethan’s creation much to that boy’s delight. He was over the moon over it that he quickly updated his IG story with this special moment. 

 

Finally, the children had to present their creation to the class. Ethan did a very good presentation explaining what he made for the bird family and why he chose to place the nest up high on a tree. He also explained how his project almost failed as it was unable to stand due to the heavier weight at the top. To overcome that, he made a flat base for the tree to stabilize it. 

To see my child standing there presenting his creation confidently is such a priceless experience. This is what STEM education is all about. It challenges students in their thinking and focuses on the real world applications of problem solving. It also encourages students to speak out making them more eloquent. 

For our second and final task, all teams were given the same Space Lander Mission.  We were given a cup which we are not allowed to cover and were challenged to design a shock-absorbing spacecraft. The mission is to drop the spacecraft from a height of 2 feet without the aliens falling out of the cup. 

Ethan and I used paper cut into a circle as the base and lined it with marshmallows and straws underneath as absorbers to help the aliens land their spacecraft safely. Ethan also stick some marshmallows and straws on the top of the base as decoration. 

For this project, the children did not need to explain their creation. They only need to go to the front and drop their spacecraft from a height of 2 feet to see if their spacecraft is able to absorb the impact and keep those aliens safely in the cup.

Judging is done by all participants. The children were given a slip of paper for them to write down the creation which they think deserves to win with a condition that they are not allowed to vote for their own creation :lol:

We were extremely surprised when both of Ethan’s creation WON! 

Dato Dr. Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor presented the prize to Ethan. 

Twice lucky, Ethan told me he’ll be sharing his prize with Lil’ bro Ayden as that little boy was a little upset being left at home unable to join us today. 

All attendees were also presented with Certificate of Attendance by the Co-Founder/Academy Manager, Ms Charlenne Ong. 

Ethan enjoyed the class very much that he persuaded me to sign him up for their Young Engineers December School Holiday Program.

STEM Academy is located at E1.02.02 Sunway Geo Avenue. Call 03-5611 8812 for further information on their December School Holiday Program. 

About the Author: Merryn Tan

3 Comments + Add Comment

  • //

    Congrats. He has the talent.

    Good workshop to expose kids to such knowledge.

    [Reply]

  • //

    Hopefully government schools would have the budget to have this STEM program for all children during the school holidays since not all children can afford this fee.

    [Reply]

  • //

    You are…and needed… They need to be more careful with their tenses. Oh my!!! That was the astronaut? He used to be so dashing, so good looking. LOL!!!

    [Reply]

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I am a mother to two boys; Ethan and Ayden and a wife to Darling William. I'm a stay at home mum who blogs to break the monotony of life and to avoid feeling jaded. Would love to get to know all the Super Mommies and Daddies and Babies or Singles out there with the hope that we can learn more from each other. Most of all, I am a happy person, and I hope YOU are too.

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