What does STEM mean and why is it important?
STEM is an acronym, representing the academic disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, so easy to remember once you know! The skills and knowledge in each discipline are, of course, essential for children’s learning, but many schools are now focusing on these subjects as an integrated group - because they are so deeply intertwined in the real world and in how children learn most effectively.
How do STEM toys help children to learn?
The concept of STEM toys is becoming more widely understood and valued amongst educators and parents.
Many toy retailers are getting on board with the concept too, developing STEM-specific areas, particularly in their online presences.
Trends UK realised the importance of the concept quite some time ago; we have been involved in developing Science toys for over 14 years and believe that certain toys played with in the home can definitely support the understanding of STEM topics.
What are the main trends and developments of the category?
We are seeing a marked increase in demand for our STEM-related toys such as Discovery Kids and Science Mad Kits. Families are discovering that there are whole ranges of exciting science-based toys that are not only fun, but will also support their children’s learning in school. It’s a great way for the whole family to support education in the household and it's enjoyable for the adults too!
How do STEM products differ from other educational products on the market?
STEM toys must have educational features that support learning across the key subjects in some form. If you are a parent looking for STEM toys you may find that the packaging features a STEM logo.
For example, the new Trends Discovery Kids packaging features a logo that clearly explains that the toy supports STEM learning. If you don't see a logo, just a little time spent reading the pack details should help.
What is the difference between STEAM and STEM products?
Add an 'A' and you get some STEAM!
STEAM includes ‘Arts’ in addition to the Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths which make STEM. Both have their merits but we believe Trends UK products are more closely associated with STEM.
Many primary schools use STEM in their National Curriculum subjects so it’s a term that many parents will recognise.
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