Women in STEM Launches Parent/Tot Classes in Chicagoland

Introducing STEM at a young age helps a child’s cognitive development, in addition to improving social skills and teamwork abilities.

Children between the ages of 18 months and 3 years old are in one of the most impressionable stages in their lives, so engaging them in STEM activities at an early age can have a positive impact on their cognitive development.

Americans live in one of the most influential countries on the planet, rich with talent, ideas and influence that help shape the rest of the world. So, what does it say about this country that much of the talent comes from abroad, particularly when it comes to science-based fields. According to Mariano Sana, a Vanderbilt University professor, the ratio of foreign-born to U.S.-born scientists and engineers doubled in little more than a decade. No, it’s not an issue of Americans lacking talent, it’s a problem that stems from untapped potential and a indifference to developing that talent.

Women In STEM,LLC, based in Orland Park, IL , partners with Engineering For Kids/Chicagoland to tackle this issue head-on, by offering STEM education to kids ages four to 14 in the Chicago suburban area. Women in STEM founder, Rita Kikoen, sees myriad benefits to introducing kids to STEM concepts through Parent/TOT classes at even younger ages, too.

With this realization, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programs are making names for themselves across the country, from universities promoting their curriculums to toddler-targeted classes. Yes, that’s correct, toddlers have become a focus for STEM programs. The more it’s thought about the more sense it makes, as toddlers’ and young children’s brains are absorbing everything they encounter – why not start them early?

“Children are sponges,” says Kikoen. “Introducing STEM at a young age helps a child’s cognitive development, in addition to improving social skills and teamwork abilities.”

Incorporating stimulating exercises for toddlers such as counting, coloring and paper airplane building into a social setting allows parents and their children to bond with each other and other families, all while learning and being productive. 2-3 year olds are at the height of developing their dexterity and…

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