If you’re a parent who’s in tune with anything educational these days, you’ve heard the acronym STEM. If not…what rock have you been hiding under? Also, here you go: STEM Wikipedia. When you’re talking about children and STEM, you’re really talking about preparing kids for the advanced math and other scientific fields that they’ll be thrust into. Your kids will experience engineering and technology at an extremely high level vs. what you went through as a parent. Even as an Engineer myself, I can safely say that children today will generally outstrip my capability in math and the sciences. They’ll probably even do that by the end of High School. All of this to say, you better get a jump on STEM learning!
That’s exactly what this series of iPhone/iPad/Android applications are all about. They’re a set of e-books focused on science, technology, engineering and math (or STEM…see what I did there). They’re narrated and provide fun and interactive visuals along with animation and sound to provide what I would call a pretty high level of fun. They’re also highly educational and targeted at the ages the applications tell you they’re for (6-8 years of age).
I personally was able to review the Wootzy Colors Application. It’s a bright and colorful story that does everything it says it does, and more. It’s cute, and it introduces the ideas of the planets, the solar system, and many more space-based topics that are hard for young toddlers and children to imagine. Imagine trying to explain (without any visuals) all about the earth, the moon, the rings of saturn, the sun, and just what a crater is. Trust me, I’ve tried and it doesn’t work. My little guy basically told me that the planets were balls and that he could crush them. Yeah, didn’t work.
As my toddler and I went through the story, he figured out that he could listen to the story and then tap on the screen in different places. Once he tapped, he’d find a sound and an animation would play and so he would tap around the screen. He was having fun and that meant he wanted to get to the next page (which he did with the navigation buttons that show up after each reading). He figured out how to navigate the app quickly and then he was completely self-sufficient. In fact, he stole my phone and started telling the story what colors lived on each planet. That’s exactly what I, as a parent, am looking for.
Now, we all know that we want to limit our child’s time with products like iPhones, iPads, Android tablets, and the like. Let’s be honest though and keep in mind that it’s going to basically be impossible to keep this kind of technology away from our children entirely. Most of the schools I’m around these days have a Chromebook per child and therefore these kinds of technologies are going to be around. With that in mind, why not use something like STEM Storiez that’s educational and has a purpose. That’s the entire idea of Kids Fun Channel as well in case you hadn’t noticed; it’s the reason why we’re so happy to tell you about these applications!
All in all, I’m really happy that I’ve been asked to review STEM Storiez. They also have a set of products on their website that enhances the experience with the applications they’ve developed. I’m especially intrigued by some of the board books that accompany the stories, as it deepens the learning experience. Head to http://stemstoriez.com/ to check them out.
Now then, here’s a few links to these great applications:
Until next time…smash, crash, and learn!