Young children are natural scientists and engineers! They are curious about how the world around them works and why things do the things they do! They are full of questions, are willing to roll up their sleeves and experiment, are usually not discouraged when their first attempt at something fails and are creative problem-solvers! STEM from the START is designed to harness all of that natural curiosity, inventiveness, perseverance and creativity to help students explore and learn more about physical science and the world around them.
Each video lesson in the STEM from the START Curriculum features the Quinks. The Quinks are three curious aliens, Quazar, Neutrina and Fluxx, who have come to Earth to learn more about how things on the planet work! With the help of a human friend, they explore basic principles of physical science.
Each lesson in the STEM from the START curriculum is presented as a mission! In each mission students are asked to observe, research, develop hypothesis, make predictions, experiment and reach conclusions - just like real scientists!
Each video lesson includes short segments where a concept or idea is introduced and explored and then a “Discovery Break.” Each Discovery Break is a question posed directly to the child. The video lesson is designed to be paused or stopped at this point so students can engage in an activity or exploration. These activities and exploration are found in the Discovery Guide for each lesson. Activities and explorations in the Discovery Guide are designed to be something that can be done with items found in most classrooms or homes!
In addition to Discovery Breaks, video lessons include Discovery Questions. These questions are indicated by a spinning question mark. There is time after each Discovery Question to pause the video lesson and have students answer the question!
In each lesson the Quinks visit scientists and engineers in the real world and see how they use the concepts covered in the video lesson in their jobs.
STEM from the START focuses on the physical sciences because it is an area in the PreK-2 curriculum where there are fewer resources for the PreK-2 classroom that other areas of science like natural and earth science. STEM from the START video lessons and curriculum have been reviewed and tested by educators and every video lesson is aligned to Next Generation Science Standards. (http://www.nextgenscience.org/)