What is STEAM?
We're revamping our blog!This is a great way for us to keep you up to date on what’s happening in the world of STEAM and Wicked Cool for Kids. So, what is Wicked Cool for Kids, anyway? Our official mission is “Providing high quality, educational STEAM-based enrichment programs that are always wicked cool for kids.” Let’s break that down even more. First of all, the basics: what is STEAM? I think we are all familiar with STEM, which is the relatively new focus in education towards Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. But STEAM is a combination of all these things plus Art, giving students a much more well-rounded education.
Recent studies show that students in the U.S are lagging behind many other countries in STEM. No one is sure of all the reasons why, but we think one very real reason is simple: kids are not engaged enough and not interested enough to absorb the material. In other words, they may find it boring. In addition, studies show that many girls do not believe they can excel in these subjects or perhaps it’s not “cool”, whether that is coming from outdated attitudes at home, an unconscious bias from the teachers or the schools themselves, or even from their peers. It seems that both boys or girls need to have their attitudes changed and their passions stirred.
That’s where we come in.
Wicked Cool for Kids offers a rich variety of “out of school time” programs after school, during school vacation breaks, and during the summer. Our goal is to bring fun back to STEAM and in the process, ignite the students’ imagination, curiosity, and enthusiasm for these topics. Kids will learn while having fun and will want to come back, creating a win-win situation for kids, parents and educators.
We run many programs during the year, but two of our most popular summer programs are Minecraft Mania and Minecraft Mastercrafters, which are, of course, a version of the popular world-building game. Minecraft is much more than just a simple game, however. It encourages cooperative play and out-of-the-box strategizing. We help students “mine” their imagination and apply it to real-world challenges while they are developing skills in creative thinking, math and geometry, all without them ever realizing they are learning.
When you were a kid, did you ever wonder what it might be like to be a doctor, veterinarian or other medical professional? Wee give kids a taste of these professions with two of our very popular programs, Wicked Cool Med School, and Wicked Cool Vet School, which always piques their interest in the medicine, as well as the life sciences. Science boring? Not when they are learning it the “wicked cool” way.
When tackling the “T”, “E” and the “M” in STEAM, we delve into robotics and engineering directly from Lego Education. What kid wouldn’t want to learn to build programmable robots? And while they are having fun using technology, science, and engineering, they are more importantly, firing up their imaginations and actually learning to learn.
WCFK offers many diverse STEAM programs and we seasonally add new ones. What they all have in common is this: they are all hands-on, interactive experiences that cater to all children of all abilities, genders and backgrounds. We help develop interests into talents and talents into passions. We take kids who aren’t the least bit interested in school and turn them into avid learners, who will continue to learn long after the lesson is over. When kids like to learn, teaching them is easy. Education and a love of learning lays the groundwork for a successful and fulfilling life. And, after all, isn’t that what we want for our children, our students, our communities?