STEM Education Las Vegas | Innovation Academy Montessori
Watch the students at our Las Vegas Montessori school for even a short while. You will soon notice something. Just about every activity they enjoy touches on STEM: the four disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and math.
Life is certainly not made up of discrete areas, where only one subject takes precedent at a time.
In explaining STEM, the U.S Department of Education reports that knowledge is critical for student success. However, knowledge is not the only vital factor. Perhaps more importantly, students must also be able to apply what they know. For example, think of reading about a butterfly’s life cycle. This is different from actually planning a way to watch it every step of the way. Similarly, you can know how structures stand, but this is not the same as physically building them. “Book smarts” are necessary, of course, but they are most valuable when paired with real-world experience.
From Theory to Experiment to Conclusion
At Innovation Academy, visitors would have a difficult time finding any activity that doesn’t touch on science in some way. Since our school encourages children to explore what excites them via hands-on learning, we easily incorporate this element of STEM.
After all, science is about observing the world around us and developing theories based on our observations. We then test these theories and make a conclusion based on the results of the test. Did the wide base of the tower give it the support it needed, like we thought it might? Did all the butterflies emerge at roughly the same time?
Failures and successes are both celebrated in science, since both reveal information and can drive new theories and experiments. Our teachers encourage critical thinking throughout this entire process each day. This ensures that students learn from negative outcomes as well as positive ones.
We believe innovation comes from people who take a fresh look at something everyone else takes for granted. “It’s always happened this way” is never an excuse to settle—especially when there are so many opportunities to experiment. We carefully prepare the classroom and surrounding environments for this very reason.
Students have plenty of chances to explore the many facets of science. For example, they regularly work in our organic orchard-—and get a real-time glimpse into natural cycles.
Putting It All Together
A key element of STEM-based education is ensuring teachers use an approach that combines the four disciplines. There is no regular separate focus on a single subject. Instead, students learn about science, technology, engineering, and math in a cohesive way. In fact, at Innovation Academy, language, arts, and other disciplines also find their way into the daily mix.
We have always had trouble understanding why anyone would prefer a teaching model that puts different subjects into compartments. Life is certainly not made up of discrete areas, where only one subject takes precedent at a time. For instance, engineers use math, and scientists use technology. Furthermore, they’re not the only ones. The federal-level STEM focus may be on raising more students interested in computing, engineering, and sciences, but pretty much everyone use STEM daily. This includes chefs, doctors, and artists!
The Perfect Pairing
The Innovation Academy team is not just committed to STEM. We are also committed to integrating it into the child-centered approach at the heart of Montessori education. The Montessori learning environment is already primed for inspiring and fostering curiosity-driven exploration. This emphasis on hands-on learning makes STEM a natural fit for the curriculum.
CONTACT US to get a better idea of how we implement science as a part of STEM each day at Innovation Academy.
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STEM Education | Innovation Academy Montessori