Children are naturally curious and instinctively want to know who, what, when, where and why. They marvel at the undiscovered world around them and want to understand how it works. They are interested in why things happen and how they can change or control the way things work. Children love to make and create – and often learn best by hands-on activities. They also take great pride and ownership in their own self-learning.
A majority of the basic skills and knowledge that children need to address their questions and develop life skills come from the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics or simply STEM education. STEM can teach critical thinking, discipline, creative problem-solving, collaboration, reasoning, and communication. Early exposure to STEM concepts can help children get a jump-start on valuable knowledge that can carry over to all aspects of their growth and development.
However, children have not historically engaged in the subjects of STEM at the same level as other subjects in their learning environments. As a result, our country has not kept pace with other countries in the STEM fields. Leaders in education, government, and all business sectors also share a growing desire to excel in STEM. Therefore, there is an increased need and demand for STEM-educated individuals evidenced by the following statistic:
Between the years 2006 and 2016, the total employment in science and engineering occupations will increase at more than double the overall growth rate for all occupations (National Science Board, 2010).
STEM education continues to gain national attention among educators, legislators and scholars. Public and private schools are deploying STEM curricula in all grades – with elementary schools bringing up the rear in adoption. Community education extensions are also offering resources to help both parents and children share in STEM learning opportunities.
But character development is equally as important, particularly for young children. Integrating character education components, in an easily understood format for children of all ages and abilities, fosters the development of a shared supportive, interacting environment enhancing the overall education experience.
Entelechy Education, LLC represents a novel approach toward integrating both STEM and character education themes within the existing literacy education system. With our innovative approach called STEM-C® Literacy, we have created the award-winning The EnteleTrons® Series of picture information books, project-based learning tools, resources, and activities that help young children develop strong moral character while they learn valuable STEM concepts and strengthen their language literacy.