How to incorporate STEM learning into your school playgroundTuesday, 10th March 2020 9:46 am
STEM learning refers to the integrated teaching and learning of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics through hands-on and practical knowledge. But practical learning does not always have to take place inside the classroom. Teachers can incorporate STEM learning into outdoor education helping children learn in a fun and creative way.
Learning outdoors provides children with an unrestricted learning laboratory! By combining school playground equipment and outdoor learning into lesson time, you can create an outdoor space where children can imagine, discover, challenge themselves and ask questions within a structured learning environment.
Why does it rain?
Structured playground equipment, such as educational play panels, provide teachers with equipment that can be used during lessons time as well as playtime. Our Weather Stations Panels takes science lessons outdoors and can help children understand meteorology and the science behind the weather in a more practical way.
As part of a project on the weather, the barometer, thermometer, hygrometer and rain gauge can help children understand the changes that happen across each season as well as the wide-reaching impacts of weather and climate change locally and globally.
Children can take it in turns to record the readings and relay the information back to the class, helping them to understand that the weather is observable and measurable as well as practising their presentation skills.
Being able to access the panel at playtime can also provide the opportunity to role-play what they have learnt during the lesson. Why not pretend to be a Meteorologist, researching, reporting and predicting the weather patterns or even a weather presenter on TV!
A child’s inquisitive nature
Children are inherently curious at a young age. They love new experiences and explore them with their senses. Mud Kitchens provide the perfect setting for many STEM learning opportunities. Teachers can introduce Science Projects and the concept of simple weights and measures through supported play. They can get their hand dirty and experiment with the consistency and texture of mud. This experimentation can then lead to ‘what if….’ questions and them coming up with their own innovative solutions to these questions. Children can then hypothesise about the outcomes of experiments and again discuss methods and results with the rest of the class.
By participating in environmental play, children learn how plants grow, birds live, how leaves decompose to making compost. The principal behind environmental playground equipment is extremely simple, children not only learn essential lessons about wildlife and plants, but they also learn to respect their environment. Composters, Worm Villas and Eco Inspection Tables allow children to become nature detectives not only in the school playground but in their gardens at home or local park, learning about plants and animals in all different environments.
If you need any further STEM learning inspiration, you can find plenty of useful information on the STEM resources website.
If you are considering improving your school’s outdoor areas contact us to arrange a free, no-obligation appointment with your local Area Manager.