Article: Raising 21st century learners using STEAM in Boston & Giveaway

Article: Raising 21st century learners using STEAM in Boston & Giveaway

 

Helping our children be 21st century learners is no easy task as a parent. I know for me, so much has changed since I was in school. My older son has a #STEAM themed curriculum at school where they try to infuse as much as they can into everyday learning. This can be anything from using manipulative to school to using Ozobots or Lego’s to allow them to code and create without realizing they are learning!   I like this because I hope it will help my son to become more flexible and collaborative as he gets older since the key learning skills are currently being built at an early age.  I also like to try to carry over these skills at home!

Legos and robotics

Beyond the classroom

In some classrooms before the advent of #STEAM students would watch a video or passively hear a lesson taught. As time has evolved, instead of just hearing the lesson the students are learning multiple ways to tackle the problem and solve it. This can lead to some challenges for kids at times, who may become overwhelmed with all of the ways to solve the problem without truly understanding the core concept or skill. Children with special needs also may struggle with the new concepts of #STEAM learning because being presented so many different ways to solve a problem can at the very least be overwhelming. One of the great things about STEAM learning is that the classes provide hands on engagement to solve real world problems – instead of just having to do a math page or read a chapter from a history book. One of the other great benefits is that children work together collaboratively to solve a problem or challenge rather than struggling to complete it on their own. This encourages team work, collaboration and reasoning which are all great skills to apply later in life.

Snapology is a company that wants to help children with STEAM and problem solving skills using their creative thinking and imagination. As part of their program offerings, they offer camps, field trips, birthday parties for kids three and over, scout adventures and more. Topics range from game design, building, coding, animation and more. Perhaps my son will learn how to code an iOS app to help me in the future!

teamwork and collaboration

Building and creating

As a parent, I am always thinking of ways that I can help to enrich my children outside of school. We regularly try to help our kids get hands on learning beyond the textbook or classroom. That means, I’m working on helping him learn more about STEAM via the use of our iPad, doing some simple programming and helping him experiment to solve problems  We also pull out our Lego’s and create and build as well.  We have even experimented a little bit with Scratch programming which is a visual programming language designed to give kids their first experience with coding.  :Looking for more great tech enabled STEAM ideas?  Check out our STEAM and STEM gift guide which has some great suggestions!

This giveaway is a partnership with Nakturnal.  Thank you so much for supplying a Lego set for our readers!

Giveaway

Want a chance to win a  LEGO® brick set of the Snapology Mascot Sebastian Gator?  You can enter via a comment on this post.  The comment must say where you are from and why you want to win the prize.    Winners will be emailed and must contact The iMums within 48 hours to claim their prize. This giveaway is to those that live in the United States and have a valid United States mailing address.  A valid legal name and address are required to claim the prize. Please ensure you have read and understand our Terms & Conditions. Good luck!

 

 

 

Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. They have a variety of devices including an iPad, iPhone, and an iPod and is often found with a device! My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.
Article: 11 Online Summer Camps to Keep Kids Busy (and Learning) While School’s Out by Common Sense Media

Article: 11 Online Summer Camps to Keep Kids Busy (and Learning) While School’s Out by Common Sense Media

screen-time

From outdoor adventures to summer enrichment to computer coding, online camps keep kids busy, learning, and having fun.

Virtual summer camps — where kids head to the computer instead of the pool or park — are a thing now. But don’t worry: These aren’t the solitary, sedentary, screen-centered experiences you fear. Plenty of virtual summer camps offer kids the chance to make projects, investigate ideas, and explore the world. And many are free.

Going to camp online is a great way to keep your kids occupied during a “staycation” or between their other activities. It can also give kids something unique: individual attention. You, a babysitter, a grandparent, or even an older sibling act as virtual camp counselors, leading — and even learning alongside — your kids. With many of the virtual camps below, you can mix and match activities to tailor the experience to your kids’ interests. Expect to be more involved if you go for the free, choose-your-own-adventure camps. But fee-based camps call for some adult participation, too. Check out these offerings:

Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Summer Camps

Start with a Book. Free; age 6 and up.
In addition to a summer science camp, this site offers a long list of themes, such as Art, Night Sky, and Weather Report, for kids to explore. For each theme, you get book suggestions (for all reading levels), discussion guides, hands-on activities, and related sites and apps. You’ll need to shell out for books if you can’t find them at the library.

PBS Parents. Free; age 3–9.
With an emphasis on summer reading, the PBS Parents’ site offers a variety of practical, step-by-step plans to incorporate books into the dog days of summer. In addition to the downloadable Summer Reading Chart and the “Book-Nik” guide to a book-themed picnic, you can use the Super Summer Checklist PDF to plan hands-on experiences.

DIY. Free and fee-based; age 7 and up.
This site offers dozens of skill-based activities (which it calls “challenges”) in a variety of categories, including Art, Business, and Engineering, that kids can do year-round. Every summer, DIY runs camps and shorter courses. Some of the camps have online counselors who interact with your kid. Sign up to get notified of the latest offerings.

Make: Online. Free, but materials cost extra; age 12 and up.
The folks behind the maker movement offer weekly camps based on themes such as Far Out Future and Flight. You get a PDF with daily activities that support the theme, such as making slime and designing and flying kites.

Made with Code from Google. Free; age 12 and up.
A wide range of projects, including making emojis, animating GIFs, and composing music, is designed to ignite a passion for coding in teen girls. (There’s no stopping boys from doing these projects, though.) The site offers inspiration stories from female tech mentors as well as ideas to make coding social, such as a coding party kit.

Structured Learning

JAM: Online Courses for Kids. Free for first 30 days; $25 per month (per kid) with discounts for yearly enrollment; age 8–16.
What can’t kids learn at this online school? There’s drawing, cooking, animation, music, and much more. Each course has a professional mentor and is broken down into easily manageable “quests” that kids can complete at their own pace.

Khan Academy. Free; age 6 and up.
While Khan Academy doesn’t offer specific camps, it provides meaningful, step-by-step exploration in a variety of topics, including math, science, and arts and humanities. Kids can sign up with a coach (a teacher, parent, or tutor) who can monitor their progress and suggest lessons. Kids also can earn badges by learning and teaching. The custom dashboard has a progress map that fills up as kids work their way through the skills.

Brain Chase. $79, extra for electives; age 7–14.
Created by two parents who were looking for a way to help their kids continue learning during summer, Brain Chase takes a creative approach to enrichment. It starts on June 19, 2017, and runs for six weeks; kids work on math, reading, and typing all while competing in a real-life treasure hunt for the chance to win a $10,000 scholarship.

Camp Wonderopolis. Free for campers; optional $25 instruction guide for parents; age 7 and up.
Sponsored by the National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL), this online camp lets kids explore topics such as weather, food, and technology. Each topic includes lessons, outdoor activities, videos, and additional reading suggestions for all ages. The 2017 theme is Build Your Own Wonderocity, where families explore the wonders of construction and engineering in 42 lessons.

Connected Camps. $69-$99; age 8-15. For tech-curious kids, check out Connected Camps, which offers week-long, instructor-led, Minecraft-based camps including coding, game design, and engineering. There are also courses in Minecraft and the Scratch programming language just for girls.

TechRocket. Free for a course sampling; memberships: $19/year, $29/month; age 10 and up.
Launched by iDTechCamp (the popular — and pricey — computer day and overnight camps), TechRocket offers online instruction in coding, game design, and graphic design. Each camp offers a variety of levels and challenges as well as a dedicated instructor.

About the Author: Caroline Knorr

As Common Sense Media’s parenting editor, Caroline helps parents make sense of what’s going on in their kids’ media lives. From games to cell phones to movies and more, if you’re wondering “what’s the right age for…?” Caroline can help you make the decision that works best for your family. She has more than 20 years of editorial and creative marketing writing experience and has held senior-level positions at Walmart.com, Walmart stores, Cnet, and Bay Area Parent magazine. She specializes in translating complex information into bite-sized chunks to help families make informed choices about what their kids watch, play, read, and do. And she’s the proud mom of a teenage son whose media passions include Star Wars, StarCraft,graphic novels, and the radio program This American Life.

 

Common Sense Media is an independent nonprofit organization offering unbiased ratings and trusted advice to help families make smart media and technology choices. Check out our ratings and recommendations at www.commonsensemedia.org.

Article: Why Kids Should Science More

Article: Why Kids Should Science More

8 Reasons Why Kids Should Science More 

From a very early age children love to learn new things, and not only do they love to learn, they are experts at it. Children learn by playing, observing, doing, testing ideas and pushing boundaries.

In many ways the way in which children learn is the same way a basic scientific study would be conducted: start with a bit of knowledge, come up with a hypothesis based on that bit of knowledge, test and learn from the outcome (good or bad).

And this is a practice that should be encouraged, nurtured and built upon. Science is not only a great subject because of the things that can eventually be done with it, but because of the life skills that it also teaches along the way.

So what are the life skills that science can teach? Check out the following infographic created by psychology and science website psysci to read about 8 of them:

 

why-kids-should-science-more-min

 

About the author

Marcus has a degree in psychology, a masters degree in health psychology and has worked within the NHS as well as private organisations. Marcus started psysci a psychology and science blog in order to disseminate research into bitesize, meaningful and helpful resources.

Know Yourself Adventure Series by Know Yourself – Review & Givewaway

Know Yourself Adventure Series by Know Yourself – Review & Givewaway

know_yourself

 

What we love…

subscription based monthly science kit which teaches kids about the different bodies of the system using a comic book and hands on way to encourage learning

What we’d love to see…

printable content as well as the way to buy “extra” supplies for the kits

Summary

Fun interactive way to learn science in both a hands on and adventure format that helps kids engage and learn

Our Rating

 

recommended-by-the-imums

 

The Know Yourself Science Adventure Kit is a monthly subscription based science box that allows your kids to experiment with science.  I loved the physical nature of the science which took it from “book based learning” to actually completing a science related activity. My eight year old son and I were able to test the Five Senses (first box) and then we also tested the same kit by dumping out the samples we collected with the Cub Scouts.  I am happy to say that both my son and my Cub Scouts enjoyed it so much they did not want to stop playing with science!

 

For our adventure, we learned about the five senses.  Included in the box was everything that we needed to complete the adventure.  We got a Time Skaters Comic Book, Adventure Guide, five example experiments, stickers, an adventure map, and putty to keep us busy!  We also got an egg shaker, magnifying glass, Invisible Ink Pens for secret messages, as well as a notebook to write our observations.  We also got six adventure vials for science as well as several authentic greek recipes.  When we did the experiment with the Cub Scouts, we simply got new vials for collecting samples and skipped the cooking part.  I also liked that once you finished the kit, there was more learning that could happen – my son and I made it a game for each of us to see something and name which sense would best experience it.  It made it so much fun!  Monthly subscriptions range from $29.99 for a one month subscription to $275 for the full year.  I loved how this kit encouraged my son to get hands on with science and demonstrate his knowledge of science concepts.  I also loved that since it’s a monthly subscription you would get a new kit and a new way to experiment in the future.

I loved the illustrations, comic book and all of the great ways that the kit encouraged my son to do science.  In general, he loves science, but it was fun to see him interact and complete the kit.  I loved that it would teach him a specific skill each month and break down the human body into managable pieces, this would be a great addition to any curriculum or even for a homeschooling family.  I also liked that in addition to teaching science there was a mystery to solve which kept my son engaged as he used his mind to outmaneuver the lions to solve the case!  As a mom, I also loved that I could take what he was learning in school and adapt that so we could do science together.  Learning the five senses can be an abstract concept, but using the adventure series my son enjoyed learning about how he sees (sight), what he smells with his nose (smell), what he can feel (touch), what things taste like (taste) as well as what can he hear.  I loved how we could read the book, go on the adventure and then apply what we had learned in a quick easy manner! #STEM #Science #Learning

In terms of enhancements, I did have to collect my own vials to reuse the kit with my Cub Scouts.  I wish that there were printables or a way to adapt the kits to groups of larger kids rather than just one or two kids.

Overall, my son loved these subscription based science kits and we can’t wait to see what will come next month.  This is a great gift for anyone with kids who may have “everything”.  These kits are all inclusive and include everything that you need to complete the experiments.  These are an amazing investment and a great way to encourage kids to learn.

 

 

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.The links in this post may contain affiliate links where The iMums will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on our link, this helps to support the costs of running this site and we appreciate your support.

 

Giveaway

If you would like to win a a three month subscription to KnowYourself Adventure Series kit, please enter via the widget below.  By entering, you consent to allow The iMums to share your email address with KnowYourself. Winners will be emailed and must contact The iMums within 48 hours to claim their prize. This giveaway is open to those in the United States only and a valid mailing address is required to claim the prize. Please ensure you have read and understand our Terms & Conditions. Good luck!

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Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. They have a variety of devices including an iPad, iPhone, and an iPod and is often found with a device! My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.

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