About Gizmos & Gadgets Kids Lab
Building Confident, Capable, & Creative Kids
At Gizmos & Gadgets, our goals are to:
- Expose children to the real vocabulary, tools, processes, and content of STEAM fields and give them a head start in those subjects
- Provide a fun and engaging experience for children so they view STEAM fields in a positive way.
- Create confident children who are able to follow their own ideas, problem solve, work in teams, and who don’t give up.
- …was given a closet full of art supplies that includes lights, motors, and untraditional materials to realize their own artistic visiion.
- …could build and test their own inventions.
- …was given parts to make a simple computer and the freedom to create their own game app.
- …could work in active collaborative groups on hands on projects instead of sitting at a desk.
- …had access to mentors in science, tech, engineering, art, math & maker fields.
Now, imagine a confident child that is excited about learning. That is why we created Gizmos & Gadgets.
We Believe That…
Early nurturing of children’s natural curiosity and validation of their inherent desire to explore the world around them is one of the keys to igniting the sparks of creativity and a life long love for learning.
Innovation comes from the ability to draw from a combination of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math & Maker) skills and that these subjects should be taught together in a cross-disciplinary way.
Open-ended, inquiry, and project based challenges empower children to develop and test their own ideas which results in the natural practice and application of the scientific method, engineering process, and other STEAM skills.
Allowing opportunities for exploration, experimentation, and collaboration results in more confident, adaptable, and resilient children who are better prepared for higher education.
Early access and exposure to cutting-edge technology and experts in STEAM fields creates an exciting learning atmosphere and gives children a positive experience and feeling toward STEAM subjects.
Math & Maker
What is STEAM? and why is it so important?
STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math and Maker (well, Gizmos & Gadgets added the Maker part because we believe it is important too).
Why is exposure to STEAM fields important? Technology is advancing so quickly our children need to be ready for jobs that don’t even exist yet. The opportunities of the future belong to the innovators, the entrepreneurs, and those in the fields of STEAM.
Our children are simply not getting the opportunities they need to learn how to invent, develop, and innovate. They do not have enough opportunities to engage in the processes of STEAM fields in meaningful ways at an early age.
The April 2012 report from the Joint Economic Committee on STEM states that there is a great need for workers with science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills to keep our country on the forefront of innovation. “The existing STEM pipeline leaves too many students without access to quality STEM education, and without the interest and ability to obtain a degree or work in STEM.” and that “…the share of students graduating with STEM degrees has declined.”
Part of the problem comes from a lack of early exposure to these fields. Students are not typically exposed in a meaningful way to STEM subjects until Middle School, which many studies have concluded is too late.
The Joint Economic Committee report states that “Younger students may lack appropriate mentors, or there may be inadequate hands-on activities in the classroom to pique their interest. Having a mentor significantly influences students’ decisions to pursue STEM degrees and occupations, especially for women and minorities. Further, those with more opportunities to engage in STEM-related activities, such as science fairs, projects, and clubs, are more likely to go onto STEM careers and have accomplishments in STEM fields.”
Gizmos & Gadgets is dedicated to giving young children the opportunities they need to be able to succeed for the future. We use a cross-disciplinary and hands-on approach to complete the STEAM formula and create an innovative atmosphere and a well-rounded educational experience.
What is the Maker Movement?
The Maker Movement, simply stated, is about making stuff. It is an effort to regain the DIY (do it yourself) skills that many people used to practice such as making a garden bench or fixing their own toaster. It is about science, technology, engineering, art and math used in creative or practical applications.
Makers can be artists creating a moving, fire breathing, metal dragon, or a crafter sewing beautiful purses, a tinkerer building an alarm clock from a circuit board and some LED’s, or an entrepreneur prototyping a new type of drone.
Is it important for my child to be able to make things?
We think so. When you make, you learn. And we aren’t the only ones who think so. Summer 2014 brought the first Maker Faire to the lawn of the White House and inspired the President to declare a “National Day of Making.”
When kids are making, they get lots of parts and pieces and no instruction manual. They decide what they build and figure out how to do it. By using this approach the children practice the engineering design process, they remember what they learn, and they experience a great sense of accomplishment and pride when they realize they did it by themselves. It gives them the confidence to face and tackle future challenges and a great foundation for their education in STEAM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math).