Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education in early childhood encourages children to explore and observe the world around them. It promotes problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, innovation, curiosity, decision making, leadership, entrepreneurship, acceptance of failure and more.
Research shows that the skills and knowledge young children have about STEM concepts by the time they enter kindergarten can have an impact on their academic success down the road (Watts et al., 2014, Grissmer et al., 2010). This is because STEM activities target so many of the core developmental areas of early childhood. During a STEM activity kids aren't just developing their math and science skills, but also strengthening their motor and literacy skills.
Beyond academic skills STEM activities teach kids how to think. Children will need to make sense of problems and persevere in solving them. They will be required to predict, inference, observe, decision make, connect ideas and often flexibly change their thinking when things don't go as planned. These are rich higher thinking skills that have been shown to be critical for the jobs of the future.