Chances are, you’ve seen or heard the acronym S.T.E.M. or S.T.E.A.M. — which stands for Science Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math. But do you know why it’s such a crucial portion of youth development and education?
Science is everywhere in the world around us. Technology is forever changing, expanding, and immersing itself into every aspect of our lives and culture. Engineering is the backbone of our infrastructure and tackles problem-solving. Math is involved in some aspect of every occupation and activity in our lives. And when all of these things come together, they:
- Promote creative and critical thinking
- Inspire innovation
- Develop problem-solving skills
- Encourage teamwork
- Demonstrating how science, math, art, and technology can all work together
STEAM education not only teaches traditional ideas and methods throughout each of the 5 categories, but it also blends them to prepare children for the workplace in the future — no matter the field they go into. The key to S.T.E.M. and S.T.E.A.M. education is integration. Students use hands-on experiences to gain and apply relevant knowledge to identify, analyze, and solve problems.
However, critical components to innovation and learning go beyond science, technology, engineering, and math. In fact, they all work hand-in-hand with Art — just not always in the ways we may expect them to. While painting, sculpture, and music are each essential facets of the arts — it also includes history, social studies, and language.
Every great innovator wears many hats — they collaborate with others, share ideas, and, most of all, they get creative. Because to bring innovation to life, design-thinking, creativity, and communication need to merge with science, technology, engineering, art, and math. And when children can express themselves, they’re empowered to think creatively — therefore encouraging them to solve problems and think outside of the box when developing solutions.
The ways you can incorporate S.T.E.A.M. into your everyday activities — outside of the classroom — are endless. And Horizon Group USA strives to blend learning and fun into one, seamlessly. With S.T.E.A.M. activity kits, your child can make D.I.Y. projects without even realizing they’re being exposed to valuable, lifelong skills.
Some of our favorite S.T.E.A.M. activity kits include:
Discovery™ Ice Age Dig
Slice, poke, and dig through a jiggly glacier to excavate 17 hidden bones — then solve a puzzle to reconstruct a 3D Mammoth! The Discovery™ Ice Age Dig combines an unmatched sensory experience with engaging educational content at every corner. From the first slice through the jelly with the included digging tool to the last fossil added to the dinosaur figurine, prepare your soon-to-be archaeologist for their first big excavation.
Discover the science — and the magic — behind crystallization with the YOUniverse™ Crystal Growing Unicorn! Experiment with cool ingredients and explore simple chemical reactions that result in gorgeous crystal formations on the figurine. Then, paint the unique crystal patterns using vibrant color droppers and paintbrush to bring the magic to life.
From gliders to cars and even basketball shoots — the Dabble Lab Inventor’s Box gives aspiring engineers endless opportunities to innovate. With over 250 crafting supplies and an easy-to-follow project guide, your little one can effortlessly unleash their big imagination. Get ready to learn the in’s and out’s of the engineering design process, strengthen creative problem solving, and foster open-ended play!
Experience the creativity in natural science with the Discovery Geology Sand Dig! Use the included digging tool to slice and dice through layers of kinetic sand to unearth 9 precious Earth stones — and learn what makes them each of them unique. Collecting stones and observing their patterns, textures, and shapes — all while squishing and squeezing re-moldable sand — blends sensory fun with the prerequisites all soon-to-be-geologists will love.
What does it take to get on the path of game developing? The Dabble Lab Marble Game Engineering kit is the perfect starting point. Learn the basics of game design and use the multicolored run set to create challenging borders and exciting layouts. Simply drop the metal ball into the layout and tilt the board left and right to force movement. Improve designs and get inspired by the idea booklet included — then challenge friends to play. This gaming experience allows budding game designers to learn the art behind planning, creating, designing, and testing fun visual ideas.
Explore the wonder and awe of our solar system by recreating it at home with the Thinkbox 3D Solar System Model. Use the vibrant paint colors to add out-of-this-world details to each planet. Then, create stellar constellations with glow-in-the-dark stars. By illustrating and studying the positions of each planet and their motion — with a fact-filled poster in close orbit — it’s easy for soon-to-be astronomers to discover a whole new world.
Creative imagination meets the logistics of coding with the Dabble Lab Creative Pixel Coding Set. With 8 brightly colored stamp pads and 12 color-coded designs mimicking real-life computer pixels, soon-to-be programmers can learn how technology and art truly come together. Explore just how far the imagination can take you and just how easy it can be to express innovative ideas through fine motor practice and geometry.