Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education has been a major push for learners throughout our country in the modern age. However, living in our highly connected, digital world has even accelerated the importance of this initiative to new heights. Whether based on a theoretical understanding or with a focus on experiential learning, methods used in STEM education continue to evolve. These changes have been significant – and STEM tools, like those provided by the Mentis Sciences Engineering Toolkit (MSET), are key to shaping how students grow and learn. We aim to provide a resource to fuel curiosity and deepen understanding of the world of material testing and physical science. To discover the benefits that these tools offer to students of any age, read on!
The Role of STEM Kits in Elementary Schools
Elementary grades represent formative years for our nation’s learners. While conventional learning methods might not always engage distracted students, the right STEM tools often have the power to foster new interest and curiosity in unfamiliar topics.
Abstract concepts, which might be difficult to grasp for younger learners, can take a tangible form within STEM kits. As young learners utilize the MSET, they can apply scientific principles to real-world situations, like lever balancing or gear sets. An early introduction to these real-life applications may just ignite a lifelong interest in learning for many students.
Easing Academic Transition in Middle School
Middle school can represent a challenging transition for many students. At this age, school curriculums can delve further into the complexities of many subjects, posing a challenge to learners without easy access to practical applications for their lessons. The MSET aims to help teach these increasingly-complex topics in a relatable way. Pair that with the convenience of a virtual laboratory, and learners at any location can create hands-on, more-comprehensible STEM kit experiences. This helps bring to life interesting subjects like friction, magnetic force, or simple harmonic motion.
The Value of STEM Tools in High School Education
As students enter high school, they make a shift towards learning further specialized and even advanced knowledge. Here, the MSET and accessible STEM kits make a big difference to learners. Lessons become more effective when practical experience balances theoretical understanding, and MSET's ability to support a diverse array of experiments brings high-level concepts to life. For example, students might study thermo-fluid dynamics such as buoyancy force and hydrostatic pressure or materials testing including buckling, tension, or spring stiffness – all of which can be enhanced through the utility of STEM lab materials.
STEM Tools as a Gateway to University and Beyond
Students at the high school level are in the process of considering university education and their future careers – and having access to tools like the MSET can be a key in giving them early exposure to tools and scenarios they may experience in university laboratories or professional environments. This preparation and experience with advanced tests and simulations can help equip students with experience to carry forward into their career and other future pursuits. When students are given the convenience of the right tools – even in a virtual laboratory setting – they are given an important head start in their educational futures.
Empowering Educators and Facilitating Inclusive Learning
We’ve discussed at length how STEM kits serve to benefit students. However, it’s also important to note how they empower educators too! With these easy-to-understand tools at hand, teachers are granted the power to transform a traditional classroom setting into a dynamic STEM lab. The MSET offers resources that can craft a broad range of different experiments – helping to cater to diverse learning styles. This means a more inclusive educational experience for all. The MSET’s included instructional resources also aim to reduce educator workloads, so they can focus on what matters most – engaging with students to help them in their educational journeys.
Enabling Remote Learning with Virtual Laboratories
Remote learning is increasingly relevant to today’s students. So, virtual laboratories have never been more important! When utilized in tandem with tools like the MSET, students can enjoy a rich learning experience involving scientific concepts while in the comfort of their own homes. In these new digital spaces, students can apply theories learned in the classroom, engaging in their coursework in a productive manner.
Overall, STEM tools like the MSET play a profound role in the current K-12 education landscape. We’re excited to play a part in setting a new standard for educational practice! The MSET aims both to transform abstract ideas into tangible experiences, while also catering directly to the needs of diverse learners.
STEM skills continue to be in high demand in the professional world – so the early adoption of these tools is key to providing tomorrow’s innovators and leaders with a great start. As we continue to improve our classrooms and learning experiences, STEM kits and virtual laboratories are sure to play an indispensable role.