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Hands-on STEM Activities Allow Students to Absorb and Retain More Information

Apr 10, 2017 12:00 AM

One of the biggest academic challenges children face in school, is having to remember every element that they’re being taught. For many kids, retaining complex information can be very difficult—especially if parents and teachers are not being mindful of the child’s learning style. Because of these challenges, children often have poor academic performances that reflect on their test scores and grade averages. For some children, visual and kinesthetic learning—which are offered in STEM classes— can be a powerful way to ensure that children are absorbing what they’re learning and retaining it as well. For this reason, children should be exposed to programs and curricula that offer them opportunities that will help them develop the skills required to be academically competent—and better equipped for real-life situations.

Below are some of the reasons why STEM classes can help children retain information while positively impacting their academic performance and future profession:

Children have a deeper understanding of what they’re learning

Children often have an easier time understanding concepts and information when they are given the opportunity to personally experience what they are being taught. Through interactive labs and hands-on activities, children are not getting the typical learning that often bores or discourages them. Instead, they are retaining vital academic information as they’re enjoying themselves and having fun. Studies have shown that kinesthetic experiences can help children gain a deeper comprehension of the subject matter they’re learning about. It also allows children to process the information in a way that allows them to retain the information longer and improve memorization.

STEM lessons focus on the engineering design process (EDP)

The engineering design process implemented in STEM lessons gives children an opportunity to find multiple solutions to a presented problem— instead of only one. This process requires children to socially engage in teams so that they work together to come up with potential ideas that can serve as solutions. As they investigate online, test, and evaluate children are experimenting and feeding their minds a variety of data, including the findings and ideas of their peers. Because of the hands-on collaboration, it’s easier for children to retain information, and they also learn to develop critical and analytical skills (which are of high-demand it today’s workforce) that help them become exceptional problem-solvers. The engineering design process also helps children understand that problems can be solved in a variety of ways and that it’s beneficial to try different approaches.

Project based learning (PBD) increases student interest

Most children are automatically inspired and motivated to engage in class work when they have been assigned a project. For this reason, STEM classes provide students with opportunities where they can solve real-life situations while boosting their enthusiasm in science, technology, engineering, and math projects. As children work in teams and take different roles, they are introduced to a variety of relevant situations that allow them to solve problems of the world around them. They also strengthen their oral communication by engaging in different discussions— and learn from the views and perspectives of their peers. When children are offered an atmosphere where they can build their knowledge by personally investigating different concepts— they tend to learn best and retain more of what they’re learning.


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