By Joan Dukharan
Marketing Manager, Chuck E Cheese
What is STEM?
STEM is an approach to learning that incorporates Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. This multi-disciplinary approach provides a cohesive framework that kids can use in real-world applications.
Why is STEM important?
With technological developments in artificial intelligence, biomedicine and robotics, kids need to have the ability to understand and apply data, analyse, and develop solutions to complex problems.
A STEM environment does this by fostering innovation and the development of a child’s critical thinking skills.
It also encourages curiosity. It poses the questions of “How does this work?” and drives the behaviour that urges kids to learn until the answers present themselves.
It builds creativity. The digital world is limitless in the possibilities of application and STEM provides the support to explore these possibilities.
The foundations of popular kid’s games – Roblox and Minecraft are STEM-based and represent learning, creativity, and critical thinking.
In the Chuck E Cheese Stop Motion Animation Field Trip and our July STEM camps which drive game animation, the students must create their stories and develop coding to bring these stories to life.
Collaboration and communication are key behaviours that STEM training encourages. At a Chuck E Cheese STEM Field Trip, the kids are placed in groups and must work together to accomplish a set goal.
For example, in the Makerspace Inventor’s Studio Field Trip the group must work together to build a self-driving car. They must then present their creation to their peers building confidence levels as well as introducing other soft skills such as public speaking.
The focus has been placed on developing the digital literacy of the upcoming generation to ensure that their place in highly sought after career fields is secured. Traditional schooling alone is not keeping up with technology and alternative avenues need to be explored
to ensure exposure to the STEM fields.
What are the key success factors for STEM?
Start early – Starting early ensures that kids are open to a new learning format that drives their analytical competencies. It provides them with the foundational blocks to build on as they get older.
At Chuck E Cheese our STEM field trips and camps focus on the Primary level to get the kids excited about creating and developing their own projects.
Make it fun! – It is our core belief that learning and fun are a formidable combo in engaging students to learn concepts and behaviours. We combine education with food, drink and play to provide a holistic session for the child that sparks their imagination.
Make it interactive – Whether it is building a self-driving car or crafting a stop motion animation video, the hands-on approach has been proven to stimulate learning and recollection especially in the younger age groups.
Innovation can be taught. No matter which career path students pursue, those who can leverage technology to create, innovate, or improve productivity or processes will have the major skill needed in the future; the ability to adapt.