STEM education is an interdisciplinary approach to learning where rigorous academic concepts are coupled with real-world lessons as students apply science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in contexts that make connections between school, community, work, and the global enterprise enabling the development of STEM literacy and with it the ability to compete in the new economy. (Tsupros, 2009, from the National Science Teachers Association)

STEAM is a very exciting format and guide for developing thought-provoking programs. I was inspired to include a regular STEAM program by the lovely Amy over at The Show Me Librarian. The acronym stands for science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics. This concept began with STEM (excluded the “arts” aspect) and has been most commonly pushed in the school setting. Francis Eberle, the executive director for the National Science Teachers Association, describes a successful STEM education as providing “students with science, math, engineering and technology in sequences that build upon each other and can be used in every day situations” (Adamowski, “STEM @ Your Library“).

Enter the ‘A’ in STEAM. There is a growing push to add “arts” to this educational agenda because arts and science go hand-in-hand. Arts oftentimes spurs the ingenuity of science, connecting creativity with innovation. Mae Jemison, the first African American woman in space, explains that science, math, and arts are not at odds but that they “are avatars of human creativity” (Pomeroy, “From STEM to STEAM”). For preschoolers, art is a form of expression they are familiar with and are drawn towards. Providing answers to their world through science and math, and expressing that curiosity through arts and crafts, is a natural connection that gets their hands connected with their brains.

Curious Kitties is for ages 2-5, with older or younger siblings. The wide age range allows two siblings to engage equally in the program which is a nice change from our smaller age ranges (Preschool Stories is ages 3-5, Toddler Time is for twos). Because it is a wider age range, I intentionally include more songs and flannel stories versus more books. The first half of the program (about 30 minutes) is formatted like a storytime, and the second half is hands-on activities.

Check out my programs!

Check out my inspiration!

Follow Kelsey Cole Curious Kitties & STEAM on Pinterest

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s