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What to do with a problem

Posted on September 23rd, 2020 in STEM literacy links

Author: Kobi Yamada | Age: 4+

We all know the feeling: A problem, represented by a dark cloud, suddenly hangs over our head. The child narrator’s reactions seem familiar too. Ignoring it doesn’t make the problem go away and the longer we carry it around with us, the more we worry about it, and the bigger it seems! It gets to the point, where the narrator has to face the problem, only to discover that there is a beautiful secret inside the problem: an opportunity to learn and to grow.

The simple but powerful message of the story is one that even adults often forget so it is an important topic to discuss with children. Maybe they can remember the last time they had a problem. Did it go away by ignoring it? Did they worry? Did they tackle the problem in the end? How can they become strong and determined to tackle every problem straightaway? Empowering children by allowing them to acknowledge and talk about their feelings and finding a way to deal with problems that suits their individual personality and circumstance will help them become confident problem-solvers in the future.

While dealing with your problems is an important topic for everyone, young or old, it is also a central topic in technology education. Perhaps less fraught with emotion, while designing a production process, building a vehicle or setting up an exciting but safe obstacle course, many problems have to be identified and tackled. Seeing each of these as an opportunity instead of a setback, is a good mindset for the young engineers in your care.

With our book recommendations, we want to help you spark a conversation that leads children to discover STEM in their everyday lives. Have the courage to go beyond the obvious STEM connections and embrace all questions that may come out of your discussion with the children.

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