Azim Momin, USA
Young children who gain early exposure to STEM educational activities develop skills like communication, problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, and data analysis that influence their future choice of careers. Today I helped facilitate an engineering construction challenge in my classroom with simple everyday items such as wooden clothespins, binder clips, and colored craft sticks. The students were divided into four equal groups. Each group was tasked with constructing a specific structure with limited quantity of materials in a specified time period – the tallest building, a bridge that could support weight placed on top of it, a house incorporating as many of the basic elements, and anything creative employing a geometric pattern such as triangles, trapezoids, etc.
The children really enjoyed this hands-on learning opportunity! They had a lot of fun working collaboratively with other team members designing and then constructing a structure that would fulfill the requirements of the task assigned. They often failed during the construction phase for whatever reason but were resilient enough to go back and explore further by trying new designs. This STEM project allowed the summer camp participants a chance to refine their motor skills by experimenting creatively with everyday objects that were easy to handle and use.