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

 

 

Top 5 inventions in year 2019 to look out for (in STEM/ Science experiences)

2018 was a big year for the scientific community and 2019 is set to be an even bigger year with even more inventions in STEM and STEAM. So with so much to look forward to, what are the top 5 inventions to look out for in 2019? Here is our rundown of the five inventions in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics that you will want to look out for.

Augmented Reality Surgery (Part of STEM Education):

Surgeons at St. Mary’s hospital in London are pioneering the use of AR (Part of STEM) in the field of surgery and are using it to make skin grafting operations safer and faster for patients. Augmented Reality headsets are being used to help with skin graft surgery. The headset projects multiple images of CT scans over the surgeon’s real world view to help give them a better picture of the anatomy of the person they are treating. The scans are being used to identify the blood vessels that will supply the skin grafts and help the reconstructive tissue to heal properly.

Doctors in London are not the only ones that are pioneering the use of Augmented Reality Surgery. In Netherlands they are also using the technology to identify brain tumours.

This astounding invention in the STEM field is based on the technology used in a Virtual Reality Microsoft video game.

 

Quantum Computing (Part of STEM Education):

With an uptake in investment in quantum computing (Part of STEM) in 2018, 2019 is set to see some huge advances in this technological field. With IBM having just unveiled its first commercial quantum computer earlier this month, it is a huge leap forward. This particular 20-qubit machine has been designed for scientific and commercial use, but it is not yet powerful enough to handle the commercial applications that many have envision for quantum computing. This first machine has been designed to take on the problems that are too complex for the classic computing systems that are currently in use.

 

Blockchain(Part of STEM Education):

Blockchain cryptography is set to make big changes to internet security in 2019. Though there are still some that are apprehensive about whether blockchain can actually deliver the incorruptible security that it promises. Blockchain has been around for a few years now, but it is set to make big changes and develop even further in 2019.

 

3D Metal Printing(Part of STEM Education):

We saw the beginnings of 3D metal printing (Part of STEM) in 2018, but in 2019 big things are expected to come from the developments in the 3D printing field. 3D printing has already led to the most intricate production of things such as prosthetic limbs and the metal 3D printing field is even more exciting.

The ability to optimize parts with 3S metal printing has already led to a 700mm overhead value gear being reduced from 100lbs to 12lbs and there is even more to come. Though 3D printing is disrupting different markets, the evolution of this technology is going to keep accelerating.

 

 

5G(Part of STEM Education):

The next step in data and mobile connectivity is 5G(Part of STEM). Promising to deliver faster speeds and more reliable connections than ever before, some 5G networks are being rolled out in 2019, though it will be 2020 until it will be available worldwide. With huge amounts of data, average download speeds of around 1GBps and a network that will work alongside 3G and 4G networks that exist now, it is a step forward to a more connected world. iPhone users will have to wait for the 5G chips to be rolled out for a few more years though as Apple have already announced that it will not able to provide 5G technology until 2020.

 

Check out more articles on STEM here: https://wizkidsclub.com/blog/ 

A step by step guide to make dinosaur fossil

Fossil fuel for a child’s imagination

Children are endlessly fascinated by dinosaurs – from their alien appearance to their exotic names, there’s something about these ancient creatures that never fails to grab a child’s imagination. So let’s enjoy this step by step guide to make dinosaur fossil now!

Like yourself, we’re always on the lookout for new and exciting ways to engage children during the Summer break.  Whether it’s taking part in a craft activity or reading a book together, spending time together is great and, if you can sneak in a little educational content then so much the better!  Making a dinosaur fossil with your child is great fun and, also, gives you a chance to tell him or her a little bit about fossils and how they occur.  In nature, fossils take thousands of years to form.  Thankfully, even the summer break doesn’t go on that long (although it may sometimes feel like it) so, I’ve put together a slightly quicker way of making your own dino fossil.

Step by step guide to make dinosaur fossil

How to make your dino fossil

The following is a step by step guide to make dinosaur fossil with your child.  You’ll need:

  • A toy dinosaur (choose a toy with lots of texture and detail for the most effective dino fossil)
  • Acrylic paints
  • A paintbrush
  • A sponge
  • A glass beaker
  • A couple of plastic bowls
  • Water
  • A block of clay (regular modelling clay is fine)
  • Powdered plaster of Paris

First, we make the base of our fossil with our modelling clay.  Break off a piece of clay about the size of the palm of your hand and mould it into a round shape with a slight dip in the middle, like a shallow bowl.

Step by step guide to make dinosaur fossil

Next, take the dinosaur toy (held sideways so that it’s in profile) and press the toy into the clay and hold it for a moment or two.  Gently pull the toy away from the clay and you’ll see that it’s left an impression of it’s profile in the clay.

Step by step guide to make dinosaur fossil

Break off two more pieces of clay and mould them with your hands into long thick strips and then place these around the impression to form a wall around it.

Step by step guide to make dinosaur fossil

Now, take your water and powdered plaster of Paris and mix these together in the glass to form a thin paste (around the consistency of yogurt).  Once ready, pour the mixture into your clay bowl, leaving a little space (around 1cm) at the top.  You’ll notice that the mixture gets thicker as you pour so you need to be quick.  The mixture should set quite quickly (about five minutes) so, while it’s setting, you can make sure that you have your paints and paintbrush ready.

Step by step guide to make dinosaur fossil

After around five minutes, gently prod the plaster of Paris mould to make sure that it’s dry.  Then, gently remove the clay wall that you made around the dinosaur impression.  Now, turn the mould upside down and gently remove the clay base. Now you have your plaster of Paris dino fossil.

Finally, use your sponge to mix together grey and brown acrylic paints to make a ‘rock colour’ then use your brush to cover the entire dino fossil to give it a realistic appearance.

Step by step guide to make dinosaur fossil

Now that you’ve perfected your dino fossil you can experiment with other animal and insect toys such as spiders, snakes and much more.

The New World of E-Textile Fashion

Looking Smart – The New World Of E-Textile fashion

For the uninitiated, E-textile fashion is the latest word in wearable digital technology. Combining traditional fabrics with digital components, Smart Garments are being created with tiny computer technology embedded into the composition of the material.

E-Textile Fashion

Changing gear

If you’re picturing the kind of outfits that the crew of the Star Ship Enterprise wear, don’t worry; Smart Clothing is being designed to look just as stylish and practical as regular garments, just with much more functionality.

Smart textiles are being developed which contain digital and electronic components such as batteries, lights and tiny computers in order to let the wearer communicate, transfer energy, monitor health and even transform in a number of ways at the touch of a button or, even, with just a certain kind of movement.   Using textiles which easily conduct electricity, such as cotton, nylon and polyester, textile based sensor electronics can be weaved into the fabric creating a kind of couture motherboard.

Why e-textiles?

As well as the convenience of not having to carry electronic devices in a pocket or bag, e-textiles have a number of benefits such as flexibility, permeability, low cost production and discretion. In addition, e-textiles will offer thermal and electrical resistance to the wearer.

The use of e-textiles will be limited initially to two separate kinds; textiles which have electronics embedded into the finished garment and, textiles whose very composition includes passive electronics such as solar cells, conductors and resistors. The first kind of textile will be used for classical electronics such as LEDs for recreational uses like clubbing and events and will have conventional batteries embedded into the fabric, whereas, the latter will be manufactured with the components as part of the fabric and will be used for athletic and military purposes. Such purposes may include the monitoring and regulation of body temperature and the resistance of extreme weather conditions. In time, it is thought that Smart Fabrics may even be able to protect against environment and bio hazards.

E-Textile Fashion

Body Con

Although it may seem a little far-fetched to many, these wearable fabrics may have a very important role to play in our future health-care as they will be able to not only monitor health but also administer basic treatments.

In addition to our health, these garments may even make us more beautiful – by adding anti-ageing moisturizers and perfumes to the fabrics.

Once the technology is up and running, the possibilities are endless – e-textiles could be used in home furnishings meaning that heating, lighting and entertainment devices could be integrated into soft furnishings – giving a whole new meaning to the term couch potato !

The techy bit

E-textile fashion will be produced using fabrics suitable for conducting and semi-conducting electricity. Metallic and textile fibre will be combined to create a fabric which is flexible and, more importantly, washable.

With the speed at which technology advances, many will be unsurprised by this new and very real possibility which will make interesting catwalk viewing!

Creating Your Nature Collage – A Pre-School Activity

Imaginative by nature – Creating Your Nature Collage – A Pre-School Activity

Encouraging a love of nature is gifting your child with unlimited resources of free and fulfilling entertainment. Thus we will be learning here to create a Nature Collage – A Pre-School Activity.

The best part of being a nature lover is that it’s all around us – you don’t need to live in the country or near the sea to be able to enjoy Mother Nature’s gifts; all you need is a park, nature reserve or wooded area.

A great way of encouraging your child to embrace nature is to help them to make their own nature collage – a pre-school activity neck-piece.  As well as making a fun item for your child to keep, this activity involves spending time together outdoors and helps to hone their observational and identification skills.

Nature Collage - A Pre-School Activity

How does it work? 

First, arm yourself with a large bag and pay a visit to your nearest park, beach or wood.  Walk slowly around the perimeter, stopping every few steps to recite, ‘What can we see?’  This exercise will help get your child used to actively observing what’s around him or her.  Take turns in saying what you can see and collect small items such as fallen leaves, acorns, pebbles, shells and feathers (make sure that you’re allowed to do so – most public areas will usually have signs pointing out the rules).  

For each item collected, discuss with your child what it is and where it comes from as well as how it looks, feels and smells. Different shapes? Color? Smell?

Nature Collage - A Pre-School ActivityNature Collage - A Pre-School ActivityNature Collage - A Pre-School Activity

Making your neck piece:

Find a long piece of fabric the length and breadth of a printed scarf.  You don’t need to buy this, try looking through old, discard clothes which you can cut up.  Gauzy or lacy fabrics work particularly well for this activity. 

Using strong white glue, stick each of your collected items onto the fabric – your child can arrange these as he or she pleases, randomly or forming a pattern.  Once dry, the fabric can be used as a scarf or can be displayed in the child’s bedroom.

If you prefer not to use fabric, you can make a traditional nature collage using thick card and white glue.  You can use plain white card or get arty by experimenting with different colors.

Nature Collage - A Pre-School Activity

As before, take your child on a nature walk and collect items of interest.  Back home, you can glue the items onto your card.  Encourage your child to write or draw on the card too.  Try getting your child to look through magazines to find pictures of the items you’ve collected which can then be added to the collage.

The great thing about any kind of collage is that there are no rules – meaning that your child’s imagination is in the driving seat!

5 Simple Steps To Reduce Stress Out Of Year End

As we head toward the long and glorious summer break, it’s time for you and your child to congratulate yourselves on a year of hard work. Simple ways to simple steps to reduce stress for kids of the holidays and make it a healthy nurturing environment.

Here are 5 simple steps to reduce stress effectively:

1) An end to over-scheduling

Whether you’re heading off somewhere sunny or taking the opportunity to relax at home, the summer break is eagerly anticipated by parents and children alike but, the end of the school year can bring with it an amount of stress too.  Many of us find ourselves trapped in the cycle of over-scheduling meaning that our weeks are one long whirlwind of lessons and after-study activities leaving us stressed and exhausted.  We’re all trying to be the best parents we can be but it’s important to look after ourselves too. 

To help keep stress to a minimum, we’ve put together our year end survival tips for hard working families.

simple steps to reduce stress for kids

2) Cutting back on activities

We all want to make sure our kids are taking part in a varied and interesting range of activities but, overdoing these can be stressful for both the child and the parents who are responsible for travel and scheduling arrangements.  Concentrate on the activities that your child is most passionate about and go for quality over quantity. Follow our STEM Next-Gen Book to learn simple steps to reduce stress for kids.

simple steps to reduce stress for kids

3) Down time

A couple of times a week schedule in some family time – even just an hour or two – to be spent doing nothing but relaxing and enjoying each other’s company without a purpose or particular activity to worry about. 

simple steps to reduce stress for kids

4) Planning ahead

For homeschoolers, a lack of planning can lead to a lack of structure and flow.  The STEM pack of 10 weeks of lesson plans helps to plan lessons in just ten minutes meaning you can plan for the first 10 weeks of the new school year in half a day, leaving the rest of your summer with simple steps to reduce stress for kids.

5) Getting the balance right

Although your child will, of course, be looking forward to an amount of freedom during the holidays, it’s important to add in the occasional productive and educational activity which might just spark a new passion as well as giving your child a head start for the new school year.  Fun and productive, the STEM range of books has something for everyone including DIY, toy making, engineering and arts and crafts.

simple steps to reduce stress for kids

Follow our book STEM Next-Gen Program and teach kids the ultimate way to Learn, Build and Play.

Order STEM Next-Gen Program today!

Following these few tips can help you to shake off the stress of the school year, plan for the next and then get on with enjoying your summer – after all, you’ve earned it!

Cool DIY Things To Do With Broken Toys and Gadgets

It goes without saying that, the way to engage a child’s interest is to play on their passions – and, toys are always a source of fascination for our kids. Building and making is probably one of the most powerful hands-on-minds-on experiences a teacher or parent can provide a child with. As a child takes apart a broken toy or gadget they have the opportunity to develop21st century skills.  It also introduces the child to the engineering design process and reverse engineering. 

It may also provide the fuel to spark their interest to pursue a career in the STEM fields. 

Toy story

For most parents and educators, the toy box can be an endless source of frustration – full of items which are damaged or discarded as your child outgrows or loses interest in them.  Most of us find ourselves regularly either throwing away toys or hauling sacks of them to the nearest charity shop – and missing out on a great educational opportunity.

Discarded and broken toys offer an opportunity to develop your child’s inner engineer as explained by Diana Wehrell-Grabowski during her recent ‘Deconstruct and Recreate Workshop’.  During the workshop, families were encouraged to bring along broken or unused toys which the child was then encouraged to take apart in order to strip them down to their various individual components.  At the end of the session, the families were then shown how to identify useful parts in order to create a brand new toy or gadget.

Recycle and resue of broken toys

Reverse engineering

Although a relatively simple experiment, this is the beginning of a child’s understanding of the concept of reverse engineering – the act of taking something apart to find out how it works and, what else can be done with it.  You’d be amazed at how many engineering disciplines are explored in the simple act of taking something apart and putting it back together again – and the best part is, this is something you can easily do with your child at home on a rainy afternoon.

Not only does this experiment start to teach your child rudimentary reverse engineering skills but, it also gives your child the satisfaction of having created something themselves from the bare bones of something else and, who knows, it may also save you a little cash!

Once your child has got the knack of upcycling, the STEM book, ‘Toys And Games’ contains a whole host of fun ways for them to make their own toys and games from discard toys and other household objects – for the budding architect in your life, the book even shows kids how to make a whole city from paper!

Maker Culture, STEM Education, and inquiry-based instructions to deconstruct gadgets, as well as children’s literature resources for tinkering, making and STEM is a sustainable and great way to engage kids.

Your child never stops learning and, engaging them in the creation of their own toys and games is fun, educational and, can even help prepare them for the working world!

Garden In Bottles: The Final Frontier In Farming

They say that the “world is an oyster if you approach it with open mindedness..”, it’s so true.

As I dug my hands deep into the soil to plant a basil, my hands hit a bed of pebbles. Not a handful of soil could be excavated despite the rake desperately trying to scratch through the rocks. I wondered what would happen if we had no soil left to plant tress.

Just then a new idea struck me. What if I used only water- no SOIL? Sounds impossible right? With that began a new chapter: HYDROPONICS.

HYDROPONIC means “water working” or the greek words Hydro meaning Water and Ponos meaning Labor. My new found interest took the better of me and I started to get deep into the waters. Soon I realised, this could be the NEW-GEN method of farming. Garden in bottles: Hydroponics – The Final Frontier In Farming!

WHY HYDROPONICS?

As a keen STEM educator and environmentalist, I have a huge interest in the art of growing plants hydroponically. So what is HYDROPONICS exactly?

Put simply, hydroponics is the growing of plants without soil and with a minimal amount of water. This works by injecting mineral nutrient solutions directly into a tank of water and then inserting the plant into the growing tray, providing everything the plant needs to thrive in virtually any environment. 

I use hydroponics to grow my own herbs and vegetables indoors including basil, mint, spinach and lettuce.  There’s something incredibly satisfying about being able to eat something that you’ve grown yourself from nothing more than a tiny seed and some treated water.  The satisfaction of this small but important piece of self-sufficiency is matched by the therapeutic benefits of gardening which, for me, calms the soul in an increasingly fast paced world. So you can certainly say it the Garden in bottles.

Garden in bottles

CURRENT HYDROPONIC FARMS:

Manhattan based start-up, Bowery, recently made headlines with its revolutionary new way of space, water and resource saving food production which it has termed ‘post-organic’ produce. This farm of the future uses no soil and 95% less water.

 

Garden in bottles Garden in bottles Garden in bottles

With our world becoming increasingly overcrowded, it sometimes seems that every available inch of space is being filled with apartment blocks and other housing, leaving precious little room for the natural world.  Forever innovative, New York City has tackled this problem by introducing vertical farms into its iconic landscape.

Vertical farming is becoming increasingly more popular throughout the world for the growing of hydroponic plants including herbs, vegetables and medicines.  Vertical farming involves the growing of plants in a special, vertically stacked, environment. 

As well as saving on precious space, other advantages of vertical farming include:

  • The ability to grow crops all year round
  • A significant reduction of fossil fuels
  • Most importantly, the ability to grow crops without being at the mercy of the weather.

HYDROPONICS: SIMPLE STEPS FOR A HYDOPONIC SYSTEM AT HOME.

MATERIALS:

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STEPS AT A GLANCE:

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WHAT IS NEXT? Space gardens? Mars plantation?

Vertical farming of hydroponic plants is the future in more ways than one – as scientists become ever more convinced of the possibility of humans being able to exist on other planets, food scientists are already tackling the problem of what they will be eating.  NASA claims that it will be in a position to send people to Mars in as little as 10 years time and, food scientists say that, the hydroponic growing of fruit and vegetables will play a pivotal role in sustaining those people in an atmosphere so very different from our own.

Whether it’s in outer space or back here on Earth, its space, resources and money saving properties mean that vertical and hydroponic farming is an idea that’s growing on more and more people every day.

So what do you think? Want to start a Hydroponic garden today?Let’s give it a try – Garden in bottles.

9 Best & Easy Summer STEM Activities For Your Kids

As the school year draws to a close, children everywhere are eagerly looking forward to those precious few weeks of freedom – and parents are asking the age old question; how do we keep the kids occupied and avoid the dreaded cry of “I’m bored” ? The answer can be summer STEM activities for kids by Wizkids Club.

Filling the days productively, particularly in bad weather, can be a constant nightmare for parents – especially those on a budget but, fear not, our guide to summer STEM activities for kids for elementary children will make sure that the summer holidays are fun and productive.

Here are the 9 best & easy summer STEM activities you must engage your kids to.

1) Paper Bookmark

For the child that loves to read, making their very own bookmark is a great way to spend a rainy afternoon.  Easy and inexpensive, our tutorial provides a step by step guide to making a bookmark and, once your child has got the hang of it, you can encourage them to make more as gifts for friends and family.

Learn it yourself with the help of our easy DIY videos

STEM activities for kids

2) Dancing Pad

For the tiny dancer in your life, our summer STEM activities for kids tutorial will show your child how to make their very own dance mat.  With easy to follow instructions and the opportunity for your child to use his or her creativity, this is a great way to spend a day during the break. 

Dance nuts can also make their own dancing ballerina which we’re sure will take pride of place in their room. 

Learn it yourself with the help of our easy DIY videos

 STEM activities for kids

3) Getting to the bot-tom of robotics

Ever thought of making your own bot?  Before you panic, thinking that such a thing is surely complicated and expensive, nothing could be further from the truth.  Our summer STEM activities for kids will show your child how to make a mouse bot using everyday, inexpensive items.  Nothing is more thrilling for a child than to be able to create something themselves – which actually works. 

Learn it yourself with the help of our easy DIY videos

STEM activities for kids

4) Putting pen to paper

If you’re the proud parent of a budding writer, help them to make their own gel pen and squishy notebook in a few easy to follow steps. Great fun and wonderful to keep, your child will be the only one of their friends with their own home made pen and notepad.

Learn it yourself with the help of our easy DIY videos

STEM activities for kids

5) At the movies

Maybe your child has his or her sights on being the next Steven Spielberg.  Work with them using our tutorial of  to create a unique hand-made movie projector to impress friends and family.  As parent and assistant, you will, of course, land the starring role.

Learn it yourself with the help of our easy DIY videos

STEM activities for kids

6) Stop motion animation

Discover Stop Motion together with our tutorial for computer fanatics. Our summer STEM activities for kids is a must try which will not only engage them in holidays but also develop a bonding with STEM.

Learn it yourself with the help of our easy DIY videos

summer STEM activities for kids

7) Origami : Do the twist

Origami has an endless fascination for young children and is a great way of spending a fun afternoon with your child.  Our book offers easy to follow instructions for this fun and cheap hobby.

Order this book now and start making origamis

summer STEM activities for kids

8) Water cycle and rain works

Water, it’s all around us and, available at just the turn of a tap but, where does it come from?  Explore this fascinating subject with your child with our book which explains what water is, where it comes from and its important role in keeping our planet alive.

Order this book now and start exploring the subject

summer STEM activities for kids

9) Simple Machines: Can we fix it?

For the child whose first question is always “how does it work?, our fun and engaging book helps your child to explore the simple mechanical and engineering factors which go into making the machines that we all rely on.

Order this book now and learn how machines work

summer STEM activities for kids

Whatever your child’s into, there’s something for everyone in our range of books and tutorials and, who knows, they may just help your child find their new great passion!