Foster determination, a growth mindset, and inquiry
It's fun to build toy-like projects.
It's educational to learn through applied physics.
It's invaluable to know that you are someone who can make something from nothing, and solve any challenge that comes your way while doing so.
We believe the most valuable lessons are the ones that teach kids how to overcome failure, to see themselves as someone who can improve, and to seek deeper understanding. However, it's up to you to decide if you want to support this mission.
On the surface, you could show how to build each project step-by-step. When things don't work perfectly the first time, you can fix it yourself. Kids end up with a fun toy, and they had an enriching experience.
On the next level of learning, you can talk about the concepts behind the projects; discuss the physics that explain why the project works the way it does. Experiment with different variables, and tie those observations back to the concepts at hand. This is educational, and kids will acquire a deeper understanding of how the world works.
At the highest level, you support kids to be their own teachers. When trying to understand why something works, first ask, "What do you notice about that?" Let them explore the extent of their own knowledge first. When the project doesn't work, don't fix it for them. Instead, share your observations about what isn't working, and prompt them to think of a solution themselves. When all is said and done, ask what they would do differently if they were to build the project again.
When kids have experiences in which they're empowered to make their own observations, to solve their own problems, and reflect on their experience, they grow. They learn to see themselves as someone who can do things they couldn't do before, and to treat failure as an opportunity to learn. These lessons and experiences will live on long after the projects are gone.
We hope you share this belief with us, and utilize Made for STEAM as a vehicle to help deliver this mission.