The Science Center Approach
At Orlando Science Center’s Preschool, children benefit not only from a developmentally appropriate learning space which includes hands-on activities and skill building centers, but also the diverse and content-rich STEM experiences on-site.
Our approach focuses on the whole child and incorporates project-based learning and the inquiry method. By using a project-based approach, children learn to apply subject matter to real world problems relevant to their age and community.
The staff, trained in effective questioning techniques and the facilitation of thoughtful dialogue, guide children through scientific inquiry and the engineering design process. Children thereby gain proficiency in scientific thinking and engineering process skills through repeated exposure and repetition.
Using a combination of Creative Curriculum blended with our own curricula provides STEM integration across all content domains. This blended curriculum format applies science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) practices to traditional early childhood domains such as literacy, language, social and emotional development, cognitive development, gross and fine motor skills, and the arts. By applying STEM learning in this way, learners gain an understanding of how to apply knowledge and use critical thinking skills to solve problems.
What is STEM?
STEM education is an interdisciplinary approach to learning, combining multiple academic subjects, focusing on the real-world impact of these lessons. It is about students applying science, technology, engineering and mathematics in contexts that make relevant connections between themselves and their school, community, work and their world. STEM education provides opportunities to create skills that move students forward to become stronger problem solvers and more creative innovators that can lead tomorrow’s global economy.
STEM learning creates an environment that builds critical 21st century skills, which are commonly referred as the four “C’s”: Critical thinking, Collaboration, Communication and Creativity. These skills must be fostered throughout a child’s education because they are essential to building other important skills such as persistence, innovative thinking, teamwork and problem solving.