Ultimate Guide to Coding for kids: PreK to Elementary Teachers

Coding is no longer a fancy word for adult tech people. It is for everybody — even children as young as preschool.

No matter what the age, coding can be taught to all kids using screen-free activities, games, math challenges, and quizzes. Coding is a computer language that people learn to direct computers on what to do. It is like teaching your pet dog specific commands for them to obey.

The best way to begin is of course with Scratch junior or Scratch as per the age of the child. Scratch is a free educational programming language that was developed by the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with over 51 million registered users and 48 million shared projects. It is children’s coding game, which is waiting with open arms for children of generations to get in on the fun of coding for themselves. To imagine, build and play.

In today’s story we will cover:

  1. Importance of coding
  2. Top 10 coding worksheets for teachers to get started with instantly
  3. 7 lesson plan resources
  4. Top 10 websites to learn to code
  5. Top 6 coding courses for kids
  6. Top 10 Scratch activities for kids.
  7. Here are 10 class hacks that engage any student

1. Importance of coding for children

  1. It helps boost children’s creativity: When children get exposed to difficult situations that require their creativity to navigate through, it increases their creativity.
  2. It teaches children how to work in a team: When children code together in code camps and other coding programs, they are exposed to working with a team; this is a necessary skill in adult life.
  3. It is an essential skill for the 21st century: We need Algorithms for artificial intelligence and robotics economy the world is preparing for. Coding prepares children for the future, even though we can’t correctly predict the future.
  4. It helps children think systematically.

 If you want to get your kid started with coding, here are the top 10 coding worksheets for kids. Some of these worksheets are free, while others cost a fee.

2. Top 10 coding worksheets for teachers to start instantly

  1. Hour of Code: Coding puzzles for FREE.  You can get them here. They are great for grades 2-6.
  2. March Unplugged Coding Worksheets Differentiated: They are perfect for helping children in 1st to 4th grade, as well as homeschoolers learn to code. They learn critical thinking, problem-solving, and St. Patrick’s Day. You can get it here.
  3. Scratch 3 coding project: These worksheets are designed for children between 3rd and 6th They are fun to work with. They can be gotten here.
  4. Animal themed coding fro FREE . They are here for you.
  5. Spring Unplugged Coding Worksheet Differentiated: Designed for homeschoolers and children between 1st and 4th They are fun to work with and are affordable here.
  6. Springtime Coding Worksheet Set: This set contains sheets for children to learn beginners coding using arrows. It challenges students to think critically and use more than ten arrows when coding. Get this worksheet set here.
  7. One-step inequalities coding worksheet: Children can learn mathematics and algebra using this worksheet. Find it here.
  8. Friendly letter Worksheet: Children learn English Language art, ELA test, and writing. You can get it
  9. Back to School Unplugged Coding Worksheets Differentiated
  10. Summer end of the Year coding worksheets

These sheets are useful only with the right teaching methods and lesson plans. No teacher can accomplish significant progress without the right teaching environment.

So, here are 7 lesson plans resources for effective teaching and learning.

3. 7 Lesson plan resources

  1. ReadWrite Think: This resource provides you with a wide array of free lesson plans that engages the students. NCTE standards are addressed, and the assignment is broken into a theory of practice rationale, instruction plan, and links to other related resources.
  2. Scholastic: If you teach K-8, then this resource is designed for you. The subject topics are intertwined, and the lessons are built around the Holidays. There are loads of resources here, including graphic organizers, book lists, whiteboard activities, and interactive computer lab.
  3. National Geographic: Free lessons are designed in a modular system. They also provide an opportunity for children to master a given topic.
  4. PheT: They create useful math and science simulations. The lessons engage students are easy to implement.
  5. PBS Learning Media: The platform is interactive and very engaging for students.
  6. Epic!: This resource has over 25 000 e-books for teachers to use and interactive whiteboard lessons.
  7. EDSITEment: Teachers who teach humanities would find this resource as a treasure trove.

Having gotten the plans, how can teachers teach these topics without the students dozing off in class?  There is a need for class activities that engage students. Learning to code is easy if you have the right website to practice. We have compiled a list of the ten website to learn coding for children.

4. Top 10 websites to learn coding

You don’t even need to shell out a ton of money or put yourself in debt to learn how to code, here are some websites you can get started with for FREE or a tiny fee.

  1. Scratch
  2. Codakid
  3. code.org
  4. Osmo
  5. Code Monkey
  6. Tynker
  7. Kodable
  8. Codemoji
  9. Blockly
  10. CodinGame

    5. Top 6 coding courses for kids

    Sometimes children need courses and online programs to help them walk through the coding waters. Here are five coding platforms that offer courses that your child needs.

    1. Codecademy: This is one platform where your child’s learning combines the fun and ease of Visual block coding that Scratch with the analytical and number-based coding that professionals use. A perfect blend of fun and coding. Codecademy is perfect for children of any age – kindergarten and above.
    2. iD Tech: This platform offers free coding courses for children aged 5 and above. Their wide range of inclusive curriculum makes the job of teaching your child to code easy and interesting.
    3. Wizkidsclub.com/courses: A place to create smart fun games, animations and cool visual effects in this program. Learn to code, understand computer science concepts by applying them in games.
    4. Khan Academy: This platform is one of the most used platforms. They offer free courses to kids who are interested in learning coding. Children of all ages (4 and above) learn how to code by following simple instructions. They engage in fun activities like collecting bugs, hats and toys for their favorite characters. The personalized learning that caters to each child’s personality is impressive.
    5. Code combat: With this program, children who love heroes and fighting with sword would have a swell time. Code combat combines the fun in games with the analytics of coding. The challenges are fun. Also, children can compete with other coders online, helping them to build their confidence through healthy competition.
    6. Udemy courses: Udemy offers a wide variety of courses for children who want to learn coding. Although these courses are paid for, they are worth the fees. Here are some paid courses on Udemy that teaches kids to code with different coding languages.
    • Programming For Kids And Beginners: Learn to Code in Scratch
    • Code Your First Website with HTML and CSS for Kids & Beginners
    • Teach Your Kids To Code: Learn Python Programming At Any Age

    Scratch is one of the most used coding platforms for kids. If you are organising a scratch bootcamp for kids, or a small gathering to teach kids coding, here are some activities they can do with SCRATCH.

    6. Top 10 Scratch activities for kids

    You can find the easiest Scratch projects from the video tutorials here. Else you can check out these below using google.

    1. Make a beat: Add loops or beats on your own recordings. Then, pass it on to friends, and layer the beat to make a song.
    2. Build a project with others by switching from station to station
    3. Create a Rube GoldBerg style chain reaction using Scratch extensions to program a LeGo WeDo.
    4. Use a webcam to create an interactive scratch project
    5. Use a banana, a metal spoon, or other conductive objects to create games, instruments, or interactive drawings with scratch
    6. Code a dancing sprite, add it to a dance party project. When you finish, watch it dance with other sprites from the group.
    7. Create character conversation: Code a conversation between two favorite characters.
    8. Let children Animate their names
    9. Allow children code their own virtual pet with sounds, animations or other effects.
    10. Design and code a bouncing ball game, then challenge friends to play.

      7. Here are 10 class hacks that engages any student

      1. Buzz sessions:
      2. One word splash: Students write down one word that sums up a particular lesson or teaching material.
      3. Gallery Work: Students view the works of classmates. It helps students get serious and committed.
      4. Think-Pair Share: After teaching a topic, let students pause, think of what you taught. And let them share their thoughts with the class. It helps with metacognition.
      5. Circle the Questions: Students write questions in a piece of paper and put in a bowl. Random persons pick the questions and ask the class.
      6. Brainstorming: have Teacher gives a topic, while students write down the first thoughts that come to their head when they think about the subject.
      7. Partner Pretest: Preface lesson with a pretext before teaching a new skill.
      8. Secret answer
      9. Response cards
      10. Find Your match

      In a world where technology is changing the way we see the world, getting your child involved with coding, no matter the age, is a wise decision. Each child may veer towards different programming languages. Leave them. Just give them a level playing field by allowing them to learn and practice coding. They would be better for it.

      Coding for Kids: The programming language every child should know before age 10

      Do you want to know the #1 secret to teaching kids coding and programming easily?

      Get amazed as your child creates apps, games, animation and websites easily on the computer?

      They are able to understand all about computers and the backend of coding?

      Let’s look at the basic programming languages every child should know before age 10!

      In this day and age we live in, there are computers absolutely everywhere! Many of the things we see and use in our everyday lives have computers to help them work. Seems like they are definitely here to stay and rule.

      But how essential is it to learn programming in this century? And what is this craze about coding for kids now-a-days? Is my kid ready to learn it? What are the best ages to get started and so many more questions. Right?

       I will share with you some of the very basic tips and facts on coding, super easy ways to learn computers, how to get started in an instant and all about coding.

      We will cover these topics:

      • What is coding?
      • Why is it a must in this century
      • Types of languages: Which one should my kid learn first?
      • Making a start with coding: How you can start now and no cost!
      • Best books on coding
      • Conclusion

      As parents, we have to accept that the career landscape our kids are facing is very different from the one we, ourselves, experienced. More and more of today’s world is dominated by software – which means that, whatever industry your child chooses, a knowledge of coding will be pretty much essential.

      What is coding?

      Coding is a list of step-by-step instructions that get computers to do what you want them to do. Algorithms are written in a special computer language called code.

      Coding makes it possible for us to create computer software, games, apps and websites. Coders, or programmers, are people who write the programmes behind everything we see and do on a computer.

      what is coding

       Computer programs must be very precise because computers do not have a brain and can’t think for themselves. Computers are great at following instructions, but they will follow instructions even if they are wrong. The best instructions are often those which use the simplest possible way to complete a task.

       Top 5 Reasons Why Coding for Kids is Essential:

       These days, technology is moving at a lightning speed and, as we speak, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are transforming every aspect of our personal and professional lives. Any child who doesn’t familiarise with coding from an early age will be a kid who finds themselves being left behind.

       For the uninitiated, coding is a series of programming languages which makes it possible for us to create computer software, social media, websites and apps and, in this article, we’re going to take a look at coding – and why it is vital for your child’s future.

      1. Ideas become reality
      2. Code is one of the world’s most used languages
      3. Kids learn faster when introduced at an early age
      4. Coding encourages critical thinking and problem solving
      5. Opportunity for kids to unlimited imagination and possibilities

      Top coding languages for kids:

       As we’ve mentioned, coding uses special languages which need to be learned in order to create apps, websites, games and more. There are lots of different coding languages out there which requires a wide range of skills. Many of these feature a level of complexity best left to the experts but, we’ve chosen some of our favourite programming languages which are suitable for children between the ages of 6 and 12:

      • Scratch
      • Java
      • Lua
      • Python
      • C++
      • C#
      • Swift

       

      TOP CODING LANGUAGES FOR KIDS

      We highly recommend MIT’s Scratch program for kids looking to get started with coding. Scratch is a great primer because it’s drag-and-drop programming, which allows students who don’t have advanced typing skills to easily learn the logical rules and core concepts of coding.

      If you want to know more about each language, please visit this site HERE

      This is the main reason kids should start with scratch programming from an early age and move on to Python, Java and other languages. This will enable them to become creators of games, apps, website and animation and hon the 21st century skills easily!

      Making a start with SCRATCH coding at zero cost!

      At WizKids Club, we firmly believe that learning to code is essential even for very young kids, which is why our course includes a number of simple coding projects for kids 7+ years of age. We have kept it FREE for 7 days to encourage kids to get started easily.

       You can check it out here: https://wizkidsclub.com/c/?p=scratch

       For children starting out on their coding journey, Scratch is our language of choice. Simple, straightforward and easy to follow, Scratch is the perfect starting block for your budding coder. Perfect for ages 7 and above.

       Scratch uses what we call ‘block based coding’. In essence, this means that instead of having to enter complex text instructions, your child simply has to drag and drop blocks of instructions in order to create his or her code.

       In Scratch, a series of eight categories of block can be connected (kind of like a techy form of Lego) in order to create a code without syntax errors. These eight categories are: Control, Motion, Looks, Sound, Pen, Sensing, Operators and Variables. Developed specifically for children, Scratch uses a formula which young kids are familiar with, in order to provide a gentle introduction to programming.

      Scratch Tutorials for you:

       Top 5 Scratch programs for kids:

       At WizKids Club, we firmly believe that learning to code is essential even for very young children, which is why our course includes a number of simple coding projects for kids 7+ years of age. Some of the best loved projects are:

      • Rainbow Art
      • Dancing Sprite
      • Guess The Number Game
      • Name Animation
      • Story Animation

      Join the club today and in no time will your child be able to understand programming, make games and animations!

      top 5 SCRATCH programs for kids

       Top 5 Coding Books for Kids:

       Invented by MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Scratch is an open source system that allows children to create their own programs to make interactive stories, games and animations. Instead of typing code which can be tricky for young minds.

      Here is a list of top 5 books for kids.

       While you consider enrolling your child to WizKids Club’s Scratch online course, there are a number of books which can help you and your child get all the support that is needed.

      TOP CODING BOOKS FOR KIDS

      Our top 5 favourites are:

      1)Coding Animation and Games with Scratch: A beginner’s guide for kids to creating animations, games and coding, using the Scratch computer language by Sumita Mukherjee

      CODING ANIMATION AND GAMES WITH SCRATCH

      This book is the perfect start for parents looking to introduce their child to coding. Using Scratch, the book includes step by step instructions for creating games, animation and more. This comprehensive beginner’s guide makes learning coding fun for young children.

       2) Coding Projects in Scratch: A Step-by-Step Visual Guide to Coding Your Own Animations, Games, Simulations, a (Computer Coding for Kids) by Jon Woodcock

      This book helps young children to get to grips with Scratch 3.0 using this beginner’s guide to coding. With straightforward instructions, the book is fun and educational for the budding programmer.

       3)Coding for Kids: Scratch: Learn Coding Skills, Create 10 Fun Games, and Master Scratch by Matthew Highland

      From sprites and code blocks to scripts and scorekeeping, “Coding for Kids: Scratch” guides children through the process of creating 10 great games. Clear directions keep things fun and simple for young children – and their parents!

       4)Coding for Kids in Scratch 3: The Complete Guide to Creating Art, Artificial Intelligence, and Computer Games for Beginners by Raj Sidhu

      This nicely illustrated book is an ideal step-by-step guide to coding with Scratch. It is designed for kids aged eight and upwards.

       5) Code Your Own Games!: 20 Games to Create with Scratch by Max Wainewright

      Dedicated to creating games through easy to follow instructions, this book covers the basics of coding such as drawing shapes to provide a great first step for kids looking to get into programming.

      Conclusion:

       Setting your child on the path to learning coding is, quite literally, opening up the whole world for him or her. Whether your child is an aspiring artist, architect, astronaut or accountant, mastering the language of programming will give them a vital head start – and is also lots of fun! Hence, not only is coding for kids essential in this century, it is almost a must!

      Top 5 Valentine’s Day S.T.E.M Activities for Kids

      Top STEM Activities for this Valentine’s Day: An extra special way to engage kids with “love” themed activities. It will raise their curiosity and excite any bored child. Perfect for homeschooling moms or activity teachers. I have gathered some of the BEST STEM activities from educators and creators around the world. It includes Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math.
      Give them all a try!

      A special day to celebrate love, chemistry and the joy of giving with STEM!

      Make this Valentine’s Day special with some of the BEST STEM activities from educators and creators around the world. I have compiled the top 5 projects which includes Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math. Give them all a try!

       

       

      1. LIGHT-UP LED CARD: Did you know about electric paint? A liquid conductor that can light-up your world! This amazing activity has conversation hearts, LED & battery. Circuits designed and made just for the light of your life. It is for Valentine’s Day or any other day you want to show your love.

      A great STEM activity with focus on ELECTRONICS. If you want to learn more about basics of electronics, circuits and conductors register for FREE here!

      In the mean time, get the step-by-step instructions on the STEM activity: https://leftbraincraftbrain.com/light-circuit-valentines/

      2. LED ROSES: A perfect way to combine electronics and paper craft. Can you imagine gifting a rose that glows? Simply wow! Right? Check it out here:

      https://teachbesideme.com/valentine-steam-led-roses/

       

      Electronics for kids made simple with this activity. If you want more ideas and activities on electronics for kids, register here for FREE: 

      3. CUPIDS’S QUIVER: Students design a bow & arrow to help Cupid deliver love potion (paint) to the beloved. If you have young kids, you can just have them design the arrow portion and throw them like darts at your target. Find the design inspiration below.

      https://www.feelgoodteaching.com/2017/01/valentines-day-stem-challenge-cupids.html

      A great engineering activity. Understand how the forces work and potential energy is converted to kinetic energy in this project.

      4. SECRET CODE MESSAGE CARD: A fun secret code card perfect for Valentine’s Day. It is a combination of art and science to make a pretty Valentine’s Day card with a secret code message placed on the inside.

      Learn to make it here: https://www.redtedart.com/valentines-cards-coded-message/

      Starting with coding from an early age is the very essence of this century. The screen-free activity makes learning super easy and fun. A simple “technology” activity.

      5. V-DAY CANDLES: Try your hand at some tricky engineering with beeswax and make a heart shaped beeswax candle. These make a wonderful Valentine’s Day gift.

      Hands-on projects are great way to develop motor skills and creativity. This “ART” activity is a great gift for family and friends.

      https://www.steampoweredfamily.com/activities/handmade-beeswax-candles-handmade-heart-candle/

       

      You can find more activities and ideas on all the topics here: 

      Don’t forget to comment below with your favourite activity from the list above.

      Have a fantastic and memorable Valentine’s Day!

      3 Christmas Mandala Ideas for Kids

      Christmas is around the corner and kids are super excited about it! Christmas Mandala is a great way to get them get into its spirit while also cultivating their abilities to concentrate. The intricate designs and the bright color options help them remain glued to the Mandala sheet.

      Kids love to color them with crayon as their imagination stretches to the limit as they try to replicate all the colorful display splashed everywhere. The best part of it all is that kids get to enjoy themselves expressing their feelings coloring the Mandala. So long they are able to think, corelate and apply, you can set aside rules of applying rules of using specific colors for the objects on the Mandala.

      Let them focus on the patterns and forms and let their minds quieten down and enter into the realm of concentration and play with colors.

      Here are 3 amazing Mandala that will let children end their busy school session and relax and unwind imbibing the true holiday spirit.

      Christmas Ornament and Snowman Mandala

      This is one of the most symbolic Christmas Mandala with decorations of bells, balls, leaves, ferns and ribbons making the perfect wreath. The snowman stands in the center with a gift in hand and is just perfect for creative colorful interpretations. Kids’ imagination can run wild as they give each element a color of their choice or replicate those from real life. Refreshing the memory and increasing concentration are two primary concerns in kids that this Mandala can address.

      christmas snowman

      Christmas Stocking, Santa and Deer Mandala

      Santa symbolizes Christmas and no Mandala can be complete without him! Santa riding the sleigh with the Reindeer through the snow is the quintessential image of Christmas. A Mandala sporting him running past traditionally shaped houses are all so intriguing and sure to captivate kids’ imagination. In the center of course comes Christmas stockings loaded with toys and goodies kids are waiting for!  

      Christmas Tree Mandala

      Kids identify this pine-shaped evergreen conifer with Christmas and will love to give it the beautiful green color in shades of their choice. This Mandala has the Christmas trees in different format making it extremely interesting and engaging. Those that are in the outer circle are clear and prominent letting kids get into the flow of fun. It makes them increasingly focused as the reach the inner circle where several such trees are drawn. Kids can use their creativity to identify and color them as per their choice keeping them engaged and at the same time happy!

      christmas mandala

      Depending on the type of Mandala, you can opt to let kids do them all by themselves or engage with friends and family members. Give all of them copies of the Mandala and see how each one of their emerge with individual creativity and thought patterns. Share it among them and see how they ask questions and learn more about different aspects as part of STEAM study method.

      Make this Christmas a fun time for kids with amazing Mandala.

      Merry Christmas!!!

      9 Toys Your Kids Don’t Want this Year End

      Today I am going to share a great holiday shopping list for this year. Why? Because you are probably racking your brain for some “smart toys” for your children’s holiday wishlist of Slime, Craft sets, Squishies and PJ Mask action figures…..

      I bet your kids don’t want any of the toys on this list. In fact, if you show them this list and say, “Hey, do you want to ask Santa for this?” my guess is they’d shrug and say “Eh….”

      We all were kids once and we know the lure of the trendy toy item; we also all know where fad toys end up….stuffed in a corner under the bed or played with for one afternoon and then discarded for another Youtube video….sounds about right?

      Now there’s nothing wrong with kids requesting trendy toy items on their holiday list, but as you well know, most of these items get played with briefly and then tossed aside for the next craze.

      But here’s a little secret….your kids do not want any of the toys I am about to mention but I bet they will end up LOVING them.

       

      Why? Because no kid can resist a good challenge, no kid can resist a puzzling game or an invitation to create something magical….I call these gifts: “Smart Toys” and my kid has never put a single one on her holiday list.

       

      SMART TOYS: toys that challenge, games that confound, and anything that asks them to add a little creativity…and guess what? Your kids might even still be playing with these toys next year, I know we are!  

       

      9 Toys Your Kids Don’t Want but are going to love anyway!

      That’s it! Surprise your kids with a few of these this year; you can always say…”Wow, Santa must think this is an amazing toy!”

      What your child’s favorite toy they never asked for? Let me know in the comments section.

       

       

      WOMEN IN S.T.E.M

      Let’s Hear It For The Girls – A Celebration Of Women In STEM

       Women have come a long way since the days when they were unable to vote, buy a property or, even drive a car. In 2019, ten countries across the world have a female leader including the United Kingdom whose current Prime Minister, Theresa May, is the second woman in that position.

      Stemming male domination

      Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics are often seen as ‘boys subjects’ and a bit, well, stuffy!   You might be surprised to learn that many of the things we take for granted today like the windscreen wiper and some of our essential medicines, were, in fact, invented by women. In this book, we’re going to take a look at – and celebrate – the achievements of some of STEM’s largely unsung heroines from the last couple of hundred years as well as a sneak peek at some modern STEM stars such as Lisa Kudrow and Lady GaGa.

      There is currently a global revolution to engage more girls in STEM subjects which, in the past, were traditionally male. Most countries now recognise that, in order to survive and thrive in the face of new technology, more women are needed in these incredibly important subjects. Having just celebrated International Women’s Day, we take a look at our top 10 living female movers and shakers in the STEM world.

      The book “WOMEN IN STEM” celebrates and highlights 20+ women in this field and their remarkable contribution. Women who changed science and the world. Pioneers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Perfect for 6-12 year old kids.

       

      Glimpse of the BOOK: Table of Contents:

      There have been many hurdles for woman to pursue the sciences. They have remained predominantly male with historically low participation among women.

      Scholars are exploring the various reasons for the continued existence of this gender disparity in STEM fields. Those who view this disparity as resulting from discriminatory forces are also seeking ways to redress this disparity within STEM fields. Some proponents view diversity as an inherent human good, and wish to increase diversity for its own sake, regardless of its historical origin or present cause. Not having access to the universities and not being paid a fair wage are just a few of those barriers. Let’s celebrate the milestones in history and accomplishments woman have made in education and science.

       

      Statistics in STEM:

      The US government has used the census to understand the American workforce. A new study published in 2018 gave the world insight into how woman are not well represented in the STEM fields. From the mid century to the new millennium there has been a definite increase in female scientists, but woman are still under represented in these fields. That simply wont do. There is a little girl right now who would grow up to cure cancer, explore a new galaxy or even discover a new type of energy. Let’s inspire more awesome girls to share their point of you and make amazing discoveries!

      More WOMEN IN STEM:

       Elizabeth Blackburn

       From Tasmania, Australia, Elizabeth Blackburn PHD, is a ground-breaking scientist responsible for many advances in the field of telomeres. Blackburn was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 2009.

       Chelsea Clinton

       Daughter of former US President, Bill Clinton, Chelsea Clinton says she is on a mission to make STEM subjects cool for girls and regularly travels around the USA to host events on the subject. Chelsea is Vice Chair of the Clinton Foundation.

       Helen M Blau

       London born Helen studied at England’s University of York and at Harvard University and is best known for her experiments with heterokaryons (fusions of differentiated cells from two different species), work which proved that even mature, differentiated cells retain the latent capacity for the expression of different cell types, and that mature cell type could in fact be reversed — something that had previously been assumed to be impossible.

      Debbie Sterling

       A graduate of Stanford University, Debbie Sterling is an engineer and inventor of toys. She is the writer of a series of interactive books in which a girl inventor uses engineering to solve everyday problems.

      Linda B Buck

       Born in Washington, USA, Linda Buck is known for her work on stem cell research

      Buck is currently a Full Member of the Basic Sciences Division at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.

       Dr Ellen Stofan

       Chief Scientist at NASA, Dr Ellen Stofan, predicts that the human race may be settling on other planets in as little as 10 years time. Ellen adds, ‘We are doing amazing science and, we are role models for the next generation of STEM girls.’

      Marissa Mayer

       Another Stanford graduate, Marissa Mayer cut her teeth working with tech giant, Google andis now CEO of Yahoo. Marissa says, ‘I always surround myself with the smartest people I can find as they make you think about things harder.  

       Uma Chowdhry

       Born in Mumbai, Uma Chowdhry graduated from the Indian Institute of Science before moving to the United States where she began her work on developing new ceramic materials for the field of high-temperature superconductivity. Now retired, Uma was elected to the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2003.

       Ana Caraiani

       Romanian Ana Caraiani, has worked primarily on problems at the interface of the Langlands correspondence with arithmetic algebraic geometry.   In the spring of 2018, Caraiani is due to take up a position as a von Neumann Fellow at the IAS.

       Mary L Cummings

       From Tennessee, Mary Cummings received her bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the United States Naval Academy as well as a master’s degree in space systems. Mary was a naval officer and military pilot and, In 1989, she was one of the first women to land a supersonic jet fighter — a Boeing F/A-18 Hornet — on the deck of an aircraft carrier.

       These are just some of the women who have helped to shape the world that we now live in and, who continue to dominate in their fields.

       

      S.T.E.M Journal For Kids

      Taking Note Of The Importance Of STEM Journals

       As a teacher or parent, you’re no doubt aware of the importance of STEM subjects for children of all ages, including pre-school. As the profile of these important subjects increases across the globe, we’re becoming more adept at not just integrating them into children’s daily lives but, also encouraging children to take an active interest.

       A great way of helping children build enthusiasm is to encourage them to keep a journal of their activities. It may be that, inspired by iconic books such as Diary Of a Wimpy Kid and Just Under The Clouds, your child already keeps a personal diary  and, so, will be familiar with the process.

       The benefits of a STEM Journal

       A little different from a personal diary, a journal is a method of recording STEM subject activities in order to measure progress. There are a number of benefits to keeping a STEM journal including:

      • Record all the big ideas and inventions.
      • Solve a problem and rise to challenges.
      • Put to use science, technology, engineering and math knowledge and skills.
      • Improved handwriting 
      • Improved efficiency – when a child can look back at what they did before, it enables them to learn and improve
      • Improved goal-setting – Looking back at setbacks and errors marked in the journal can help with planning and goal setting for future projects

       Before beginning your child’s STEM journal, it’s important to set a few ground rules and discuss these with your child:

      • Decide on how often the journal will be updated
      • Decide who can look at the journal; will this be just your child, you and your child or, will you get to look at it only with your child’s permission? It’s worth noting that the privacy of the journal will have a direct effect on how honest your child feels that they can be when writing in it.
      • What format the journal will take – will this be a formal record or will your child be free to doodle, make notes and explore random thoughts?
      • Will you have a separate journal for each subject or, one general STEM journal?

      What should the child do in his or her journal?

       Following the ground rules above, it’s up to you and your child to decide the content of the journal but, these will be commonly used to:

      • Explore and identify different ideas and problem-solving thoughts
      • Examine the pros and cons of a project in order to be more effective
      • Examine own thoughts about a project or situation
      • Gain some insight into science in this world
      • Recognize the positives and negatives of a challenge
      • Plan out projects and events

       

      STEM Journal For Kids

      In the book “STEM KIDS JOURNAL”, we examine the importance of journaling for children when learning STEM subjects using the ENGINEERING DESIGN PROCESS prompts and cover a number of useful topics including:

       Ask Questions – With any type of learning, it’s important that a child is encouraged to ask questions in order to understand fully the objective of the project.

       Solve Problems – The ability to identify and resolve problems is a fundamental part of our world and it’s never too early to introduce this into learning schedules.

       Design A Plan – We explore the importance of proper planning for a project’s ultimate success.

       Test – We look at measuring the success of a project; did it work? If not, why not?

      Improve – Finally, we take what we’ve learned and use it to achieve better results for the next project.

       

      It’s said that many incredibly successful entrepreneurs, including Richard Branson and Oprah Winfrey, keep a journal of their professional lives as a matter of course. Owner of the $4.8 billion Virgin Group, Richard Branson, says that he takes a journal with him wherever he goes, adding, “If you have a thought but don’t write it down, by the next morning it may be gone forever.”

      It may be a while before your child is competing with Mr Branson but, encouraging them to record and analyse their STEM work is a great start.

      40+ ACTIVITIES FOR STEM & STEAM FOR PRE-SCHOOL

      We all know how important it is to introduce STEM and STEAM activities into pre-school but, how do you find the time to source and plan them?

      As a pre-school teacher, you’ve usually got your hands full just keeping up with the day to day curriculum but, don’t worry, we’ve put together our 40+ favourite STEM and STEAM activities for you.

      You can find the details in the new WizKids book, Next-Gen STEAM Pre-school guide.

       In the Next-Gen STEAM Preschool guide, kindergarten students become scientists, engineers and environmental stewards as they gain and develop the 21st century competencies needed for tomorrow’s highly skilled workforce. Over 10 modules, the book includes the latest in science and technology and, each module is divided into four units, providing 40 hands-on projects with a 60 minute lesson plan formula.

       1) EXPLORATION STUDIO

      This is an exciting place to begin as it covers subjects familiar to young children in playful ways they’ll easily understand. Building houses, magnetic fishing, exploring colored light and making musical instruments are super-creative activities kids love to do. What better way to introduce STEM principles than through familiar play?

       There are four sections in Exploration Studio covering STEM careers such as architecture, acoustical engineering and the science behind magnets, light and colors. Through recommended storybooks, videos and songs, the ‘magic’ in each module is unveiled. Songs and story activity enable very young kids to engage immediately and guide their minds towards scientific learning.

      ACTIVITIES FOR STEM Image

      2) BOUNTIFUL EARTH

      With a magnifying glass in hand, kids will investigate our bountiful earth and things in nature. They’ll learn the difference between insects and spiders, study habitats and environments. They explore life cycle and organisms in our world using STEM toys and aids. They inquire about different animals in a pond setting, land and more. It will fascinate them. The kids will tinker with K’Nex®, stimulating toys and their creativity will reach new heights. Imagination and fun is key to keeping them engaged while books, videos and sing-a-longs are boosters to scientific learning. They’ll even get to grow their lunch! What can be better than this?

      Bountiful Earth Image

       

       

      3) UNDER OUR WORLD AND BEYOND

      Part three introduces kids to what lies beneath and beyond our planet. They’ll investigate and examine the mysteries of the night sky and far away constellations. Watch how excited they become when they begin to understand the science behind the weather. Every child is fascinated and enthralled by dinosaurs; STEM expands that interest to show them how life first began on earth and explains how we know what we do about the beginnings of our planet. Explore careers as paleontologists, meteorologists and astronomers.

      ACTIVITIES FOR STEM Image Under Over World

       4) SIMPLE MACHINES

      Become a mechanical engineer and use engineering, physics and math to design and make mechanical things. Experiment with simple machines and learn how they work. Screws and Gears, Pulleys, Wheels and Axles, Levers and Inclines are all simple machines we use in our everyday life. Explore easy ways to tinker with them and make things in class or at home. Like Snow White’s Dwarfs, all work begins with a song so Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it’s off to work we go!

      Sample Machines Image

       

      5) THE GLORIOUS OUTDOORS

      Nature gives STEM a huge canvas to work on and this section is filled with geology and archaeology projects and learning. There is so much in nature to discover and examine, from organic and geometric shapes to rocks. The kids make crystals and beehives using science and math along with art in the most fun a preschooler can have. Collecting pebble ‘treasures’ is a favorite with this age group and the ‘wow’ factor as they learn that some rocks float and they can make crystals is enormous. Soften the rocks and crystals with bubbles and leaves to open the kids’ minds to the huge diversity in Mother Nature. Science + fun = learning.

      The Glorious Cut doors Images

       

      6) GREEN ENGINEERING

      Green Engineering is a prime skill that is growing in demand. Teaching kids to think creatively and to find alternative ways of treating waste and protecting the environment prepares them for the jobs of the future. Environmental science is the core foundation of STEM careers. Through recycling and reusing of waste, the kids learn that single-use is no longer acceptable. Everything we use has to have more than one life if we are to make the earth a happy one! Kids will learn concepts such as green engineering, upcycling and reverse engineering as they tinker with loose parts, take things apart to find out how they work and use their imagination to invent toys and other things.

      Green Engineering Image

       

      7) AWESOME REACTIONS

      Chemistry is boring! No, it’s not so put the book down and show the kids that chemistry is all around them. Without chemistry, there would be no magic tricks or fireworks, or cookies! Chemistry is why apples turn yucky brown when they are cut open and lava lamps ooze and squirm. Part 7 turns the kids into Chemical Engineers, making their own volcano and yucky slime! They’ll even get to make an exploding lunch bag, watch out! Lab coats and safety goggles essential for this section.

      Awesome Reactions Image

       8) ENGINEERING – IT’S CHILD’S PLAY!

      Transportation plays an important role in everyday life and it easily engages any young kid. Cars, buses, trains, planes and boats may be familiar to them but how about space rockets and submarines? Without them realizing it, learning more about these everyday machines exposes the kids to engineering concepts. And is awesome fun, too!

       9) MODERN SCIENCES: Forensic, Cleaning detergents, Human body and Coding

      Forensic, Cleaning detergents, Human body and Coding Fingerprints are a key

      identification factor and not just for catching a crook! Open doors, start your car, turn on your computer – but what is a fingerprint and why is it unique? Watch the kids’ faces as they compare fingerprints – STEM magic! They’ll also learn about the chemicals needed to clean things and some basic body biology – how the right foods make them grow and keep them strong. Coding is a critical component of computer science and kids are never too young to understand the principals. Get set to blow their curious minds!

      Modern Sciences Images

      10) FRANKENSTEIN A TOY

      Let the kids become a Toy Designer and create toys using science and engineering! They’ll learn to make 3D robots and make them glow with LEDs. Why do things fall to the ground when they are dropped? Make their own falling parachute and find out about gravity and air resistance. Showcase the superhero in the kids with the light-up superhero wristband! Mix simple and safe electronics with science to come up with their own creations. Can light be separated? Let the class make color spinners and test their eyes! Spin it fast enough and all the rainbow colors turn white. Magic? No, it is science! Building early literacy through STEM books and play.

      Frankenstein A Toy Image

      Once you get the hang of introducing these activities into your classroom, it’ll become an integral part of your day and, in time, you’ll start coming up with your own (in which case, do let us know as we’re always on the lookout for ideas!)

       Sumita Mukherjee is a NASA STEM certified leader and children’s book author. She has been fortunate enough to travel around the globe, explore many countries and meet different people. Mysteries and adventures have been captured from there in the form of her Keiko Kenzo STEM travel adventure series. These books are to inspire young readers to know and appreciate various countries, develop a love for discovery and learn about the world around them. Her series of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) books encourages kids to invent and explore, to empower themselves and see themselves as world leaders and problem solvers. Her books celebrate diversity, spark curiosity and capture children’s imaginations! Sumita currently lives in Toronto with her family.

       Review for Next-Gen STEAM Pre-school guide.

      Brittany

      5.0 out of 5 stars

      Great for Young Minds!

       This book is so much fun! Even as an adult, I want to do some of these activities. This STEM book is made for preschool aged kids, and it does a great job at simplifying science for 3-6 year olds. The activities are fun and keeps their attention span really well. This is also a great way to introduce and encourage biology, physics, design, etc. These may sound like big words for a preschool book, but this guide builds a foundation to encourage children to learn and expand their world a little at a time. This is definitely being added to my education arsenal.

      STEM TRAINING FOR EDUCATORS IN LESS THAN A DOLLAR!

      Training The Teachers To STEM The Deficit

       Recent studies across the globe have shown that the world is waking up to the very real need for improved STEM education for children in order to keep up with the demand for new technology and improved resources. Children may be the future but, in order to cultivate leaders of tomorrow, we need to education ourselves and become the next-gen educators. STEM TRAINING GUIDE BOOK is a quick way to accelerate learning for teachers, educators, homeschooling parents and adults. You can Buy now here: 

       A strategy for growth

       Over half of the public school districts in the USA and worldwide, say that they struggle to recruit certified, knowledgeable STEM teachers. These critical shortages deprive students of a vital STEM / STEAM education need and highlights the need of skilled professionals the world needs now. The key to addressing this is not just to target the new teachers but to also develop training strategies for those already in the classrooms. STEM training for all teachers will soon become not just necessary but compulsory. 

       STEM Training Guide Book – for the next-gen teachers

       The STEM Training Guide Book is a great solution for schools looking to address their STEM training needs without sending annual budgets into the red. Compiled by Wizkids Club Founder, Sumita Mukherjee, this book helps teachers get started on STEM and STEAM in the classroom. It address the basic requirements of a teacher or homeschooler to get STEM educated. A look at the contents:

      https://www.amazon.com/STEM-Training-Guide-Book-homeschoolers-ebook/dp/B07NKL9GX2/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=STEM+training+guide+book&qid=1549935592&s=gateway&sr=8-2

      • What is STEM?
      • Importance of STEM in classrooms
      • Making a STEM lesson plan
      • Growing the maker mindset
      • STEM in the classroom
      • The engineering design process and more.

       

      While getting acquainted with the nuts and bolts of STEM training, this book deals with the tricky art of convincing students that traditional STEM subjects are not ‘too boring’ or ‘too hard’ – phrases which come up time and time again, particularly with female students.

      Rather than expensive re-training, The STEM Training Guide Book can be introduced into schools as a training tool, allowing teachers to slowly integrate STEM subjects into every aspect of their teaching. The book is also a great addition to the library for home-schoolers and parents looking to give their children a head start in the all important STEM subjects. Buy here:

       It’s not just an education – it’s a revolution!

       “I want us all to think about new and creative ways of engaging young people in science and engineering, whether through science festivals, robotics competitions, fairs that encourage young people to create, build and invent….to be “makers of things; not just consumers of things”: President Barack Obama. In this book, Wizkids Club’s Initiative To Spread Steam Globally, Sumita highlights the ways in which world leaders are calling for more proactive STEM education in what really is becoming a world-wide revolution.

       Image. Build. Play

       NASA’s Sumita Mukherjee is a STEM advocate and created the WizKidsclub with the aim of creating the next generation of creative leaders. Fun and educational, the WizKids Club offers books, hands-on projects and stories to ignite the imagination of children and to guide parents and teachers in all things STEM and STEAM.

       

       To get on board and join the revolution, visit WizKidsClub.com or follow us on Facebook.

       

       

      Wizkids Club’s Initiative To Spread STEAM Globally

      Hello World – A Global STEM Initiative

       Our world is badly in need of our help – as the human race continues to deplete the planet’s resources and destroy it’s ecosystems, there’s a growing demand for talented engineering and science professionals. Despite this, the number of students entering these professions is still well below requirements; a situation which becomes more urgent with every passing year.

       I believe the children are our future

       NASA’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) Leader, Sumita Mukherjee, is on a mission to help produce the next generation of leaders, movers and shakers through STEM and STEAM learning. Through her WIZKIDS CLUB initiative, Sumita guides parents and educators in the introduction of STEM and STEAM learning for children between the ages of 4 and 12. Far from a new concept, STEM learning began in earnest just after World War II when a need to rebuild and move forward became a driver for new and improved skills. Focussing on real-life, hands-on learning, STEM gives children and young people the opportunity to experiment and explore and, to understand how STEM subjects find their place in everyday life.

       Although STEM and STEAM learning began, largely, in the United States, it has become an increasingly global venture – something that Sumita is determined to encourage and champion. As we head into 2019, Sumita takes a look at how STEM education is shaping our future leaders around the world.

       

      Canada

       In Canada, it’s all about the girls – specifically, encouraging more girls and young women to embrace STEM subjects. Vancouver born Elsie MacGill was the world’s first female aeronautical engineer and the first to build and test an aircraft – despite being asked to leave the University of British Columbia in 1921 because of her gender.

       Despite the more enlightened times in which we now live, just 13% of Canada’s engineers are female which has prompted the Senate to address the issue through an Open Caucus made up of business leaders, academics and teachers. Moving forward, Canada has identified three main ways in which it intends to address the STEM gender deficit:

       Inspiration – The Caucus panel found that young women need more positive STEM role models from an early age in order to embrace these subjects.

       Starting ‘em young – Canada’s public elementary schools need to become much more proactive in making STEM subjects interesting and fun in order to dispel the general idea that subjects like maths are just ‘hard and boring.’ The panel called for more investment in training elementary school teachers in STEM education. The Next Gen STEAM Pre-School Guide, is a great tool for parents and teachers alike and contains over 40 activities for children aged between 3 and 6.   https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/172731722X/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i3

      Relevance – Schools need to examine and change how STEM topics are taught, with more emphasis on showing students how technology, science and maths shape the world in which we live.

       

      USA

       Like it’s Northern neighbour, the USA has begun to prioritize STEM learning, beginning in its elementary schools. A recent study showed that, although there has been an increase in American STEM graduates, approximately 74% of these graduates are not entering STEM professions. In 2015, President Barack Obama made a speech during the fifth White House Science Fair citing the importance of new private-sector commitments of $240 million for STEM education programs and the need for increased participation of under-represented groups in STEM fields.

      Of STEM learning, the former President said, “That’s why we love science. It’s more than a school subject, or the periodic table, or the properties of waves. It is an approach to the world, a critical way to understand and explore and engage with the world, and then have the capacity to change that world, and to share this accumulated knowledge. It’s a mindset that says we that can use reason and logic and honest inquiry to reach new conclusions and solve big problems. And that’s what we are celebrating here today with these amazing young people.”

       More recently, current USA President, Donald Trump, has granted a fund of $200 million a year saying that we need to, “Help give our American children a pathway to success in the workforce of tomorrow.”

       In addition to improving teacher training and introducing more proactive STEM learning in elementary schools, the USA is focussing on encouraging girls to embrace STEM subjects, with an emphasis on tackling pay discrepancies between male and female STEM employees – and that between white and black students and employees. A report by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) has said that grades show that female students are just as competent in these subjects as their male counterparts and that schools need to dispel the myth among female students that they are ‘not cut out’ for these subjects.

       New York’s NYSCI centre is the ideal environment for teachers and parents to introduce STEM to children and young people as a stimulating and fun endeavour. Sumita Mukherjee’s STEM & STEAM Next-Gen Program is a cutting edge scientific learning system and a vital tool for all K-5 teachers.

       

      United Kingdom

       Across the pond, the UK has also identified skills shortages within STEM professions with the UK Commission for Employment & Skills stating that a deficit of skilled professionals leaves around 43% of STEM based vacancies unfilled.

       Like Canada and the USA, the British Government is working to address its STEM shortage including better STEM education for younger children, initiatives such as after-school clubs, banishing of stereotypes in schools and, more training for adults. The UK Government recently introduced a scheme which offers free, basic digital skills training for adults who lack suitable qualifications. Delivered by colleges across the country, the scheme aims to populate the UK with more STEM professionals. Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Karen Bradley said at the launch, ““In today’s digital economy, being able to use modern technology and navigate the internet should be considered as important as English and Maths. But too many people struggle to get by, with more than 10 million adults in England lacking the basic digital skills they need.”

       The UK is also putting greater focus on apprenticeships which will offer future STEM professionals on-the-job learning, allowing vital training for those whose financial commitments stop them from entering full time college or university education.

       

      Singapore

       A recent survey by Amgen Asia showed that a whopping 90% of students in Singapore enjoy at least one STEM subject. Although this is great news, the survey also revealed that there is work to be done in engaging more students and making sure that teachers are fully equipped to teach STEM subjects.

       Impressively proactive, Singapore boasts a number of STEM based initiatives as it vows to become a world leader in these subjects. In 2015, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that STEM capabilities in the country were critical to ensuring Singapore’s growth within the next 50 years.

       Established in 1991, Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star) was launched to advance the economy and boost the biomedical science, energy, chemical and engineering industries.

       As with other countries, Singapore’s STEM revolution begins in schools and workshops. Teachers and parents introduce the importance of these subjects in real life to children through fun and interactive workshops such as Wearable Technology and Fashion Technology. Schools also seek to inspire children by teaching them about home-grown inventors such as Yvon Bock and Jackie Y Ying,

       In her book, Famous STEM Inventors, Sumita Mukherjee inspires and motivates 6 to 10 year olds to learn about important inventors and work on their own creations.

       

      Vietnam

       In 2017, FPT Primary School became the first primary school in Vietnam to introduce STEM education, signalling the beginning of the country’s move to enhance it’s STEM education for younger children. For older children, Le Quy Don Secondary School is one of a few schools which has organized STEM education in curricular teaching program. STEM lessons have been integrated into physics, chemistry and biology teaching hours. Recently, the school kicked off a project on automatic management greenhouse with flexible teaching methods, however, the project will need huge investment, with VND40 million (around $1725) for one VR (virtual reality) glass and learning software. STEM and STEAM initiatives in Vietnam focus very much on the designing and building of motors and automated machines and aim to capture the imaginations of children by allowing them to build their own fully working machines.

       Sumita Mukherjee’s STEM Doodle Book is a fun way of introducing complex STEM subjects to younger children in order to encourage an interest in these subjects.

       

      India

       In recent years, India has predicted that, in the future, 80% of jobs will require STEM skills – and the the country needs to work proactively to ensure that it has enough skilled professionals. India is tackling this in a number of ways:

       Education – Indian schools are being encouraged to focus on hands-on, real life learning as well as STEM enhancement across all subjects.

       Industry – Many Indian companies are becoming involved in school initiatives; helping to mould their future employees.

       Government – The Indian government is issuing guidelines to schools with a view to upgrading library infrastructures and learning assets.

       STEAM@INDIA: Focus on engineering and STEAM in India. My workshops introduction to latest in education. More on what STEAM is happening in India.

      STEAM Ahead – DIY For Kids is the perfect accompaniment to India’s new STEM education initiatives, allowing children to understand the importance of making and fixing things in the real world.

       

      Doing it for the kids – and our world

       The Wizkids Club seeks to improve awareness of STEM learning through a number of books by Sumita Mukherjee which introduce fun and informative ways to approach STEM subjects. Each book is carefully constructed to entertain and to encourage through exciting activities and workshop opportunities. For younger children, recently released RESCUE MISSION WITH MY STEM INVENTION is the ideal tool for bringing literature to life for children aged between 6 and 8. Combining a fun story with creativity, the book is the perfect way to move your child away from the screen and into a lifelong love of reading.

       RESCUE MISSION WITH MY STEM INVENTION tells the story of Tiffany, Nicole and Alan, a group of children who are excited about being entered into the annual Best Tech Idea contest. Three brilliant middle school STEMists, they proudly present their “Forever Slime Soap”, “Oxygen Producing Motor”, “Oil Sucking Contraption” and “Colour Changing Cake” – a piece of cake for top STEMists like these three – but someone’s out to ruin their chances!

       As well as providing an entertaining story, this book is designed to get children used to the idea that, even at their age, they can grow up to become a leader by providing the world with much needed technology and practical inventions.

       For older children, engineering and DIY books such as ‘Simple Machines And Forces’ offer a more in-depth look at the real-world application of STEM learning. In books like this one, Sumita Mukherjee shows youngsters how to build working machines and devices, giving them a very real insight into how STEM is applied in everyday life.

       In addition to the books, the Wizkids Club offers useful resources, lesson plans and after school club ideas for teachers and educators. For more, check out www.wizkidsclub.com