Let's find out what a STEM lab (or STEM Lab) is and how to start a STEM lab.

What is STEM Lab?

Science is an ever-evolving field and it constantly pushes children to learn and work in novel ways that are not often found in other fields.

As the popularity of STEM grows, so does the number and variety of STEM lessons and activities. The STEM lab is an essential element to conducting or completing these lessons and activities. But without proper planning, a STEM lab can turn out to be a flop.

The STEM Lab is a fully integrated learning space where everything from technology and supplies to curriculum and assessment is harmonized for the ultimate learning experience. This is where learning can be personalized, engaging and motivating for children of all ages and abilities. 

Why should there be a STEM Lab?

Over the past decade, schools have increasingly tried to find ways to encourage children to develop a passion for science, technology, engineering and math. Many schools have succeeded by exposing students to these subjects at an early age and inspiring them with novel and engaging learning spaces with the latest technologies, such as robotics and robotics. virtual reality.

In this effort, the STEM Lab has become a highlight. The STEM Lab enables children to learn, explore, collaborate, communicate, innovate, and create. With the STEM lab, children learn essential 21st century learning skills by participating in projects that help them develop critical thinking, collaboration, communication, curiosity, persistence, problem solving and flexibility. In a project-based learning environment, children apply technology to design their own projects to develop their STEM skills.

STEM Lab helps create exciting learning experiences

Some schools have even begun using technology in kindergarten classrooms, integrating all subjects through 8th grade. Computer science programs are taught starting at preschool age using the Using wooden robots will allow children to familiarize themselves with the fundamentals of programming and confidently expose themselves to technology from an early age.

Studies have shown that children become more interested in STEM education when they are exposed to these fields early on. Children are often very curious and love to create, so STEM labs are naturally attractive to them. STEM activities help foster a love of lifelong learning in preschool children. STEM experiences are fun, engaging, and different. These experiences will stimulate the creative side of young children so they can come up with their own opinions and solve problems on their own. In addition, children can also learn soft skills from STEM. If children are free to learn STEM subjects through play-by-learning experiences, they will develop the ability to think critically and individually.

Creating dedicated spaces for technology that helps children feel confident in high-level problem solving is critical to the development of 21st-century STEM skills. STEM lab patents allow preschool children to have a hands-on learning experience, develop their ability to design and build their own products using microcontrollers and circuit boards, machines, and devices. 3D printing and laser cutting, even through cardboard simulators!

STEM Lab provides space for kids to collaborate

Collaboration is an important skill children need to become leaders in the future or simply to contribute more effectively as a team. Working in diverse groups also teaches children flexibility because they must find ways to adapt to come up with solutions when working with people with different beliefs and ideas.

In STEM labs and through STEM projects, children will have many opportunities to experience and practice collaboration skills, as they must work together to solve diverse problems and challenges, discuss and negotiate together, find resources creatively, and sometimes comfort each other when going through a failed STEM project.

STEM Lab creates space for children to learn to collaborate

STEM Lab prepares children for the future

The concept of design thinking involves finding, or even creating, a problem, finding a solution, and testing it until it meets the criteria set for the project. Sometimes the solutions found will even surpass expectations and any predetermined criteria. Schools are applying this concept in their curriculum through STEM education. In essence, STEM is an authentic way of learning because it stimulates critical thinking and learns from failures to solve problems.

Although the primary goal of early STEM education is to spark children's interest in pursuing STEM careers to address the shortage of skilled workers in these fields, the skills children learn Learning from STEM can be applied to any career that children pursue later.

STEM skills can be applied to any profession

STEM Lab helps attract underserved groups

An increasingly focused aspect of STEM initiatives is getting more girls into STEM fields. Exposing children to STEM from an early age can break the stereotype that boys are naturally better at technology and enable girls to excel in these fields. To that end, many schools are focusing on reducing sexism. Setting up STEM labs to begin incorporating STEM subjects into the curriculum or to strengthen an existing STEM curriculum is a great move for the future. Not only that, it will contribute to eliminating bias and gender bias spanning hundreds of years of history. The STEM Lab is open to any child who wants to join, and through successful lessons from underserved groups, it helps inspire this audience.

How to set up a STEM Lab

Check the curriculum for the right design

Technology shouldn't be included in a STEM lab just because it's technology. As such, technology is just a waste of money. Children do not need things that are only beautiful and shiny on the outside, what they need is quality on the inside. The first priority should always be the educational method, and the technology is simply a supporting tool. It's up to you to discover what really is needed to teach STEM lessons or ways to improve them.

Many STEM lessons can use existing materials. Things like rubber bands, magnifying glasses, and carrying cases can be found in supply cabinets or can be easily purchased after the STEM Lab goes live. Schools can mobilize parents to contribute cheap and easily available supplies to the lab. However, there are things that need to be carefully planned to make teaching and learning easier. For example, many STEM activities require water, so it's a good idea to place a STEM Lab near a restroom or install a faucet right in the lab.

Some STEM lessons, such as those on seed germination, require sunlight. Consider building the school's STEM lab in a room with windows facing the sun.

Allow for flexible change

First, we need space. Children will need to work in groups and individually. Therefore, using a modular approach to the layout of a STEM Lab is very important. STEM activities often include experimental teaching or demonstration, along with collaboration. For natural flexibility for teaching and collaboration, consider wheeling your room supplies. This makes it easy to move furniture out of the aisle to create more floor space if needed when doing experiments. The table in the STEM room is mounted on wheels, allowing children to comfortably set up a workbench with a robot or push it away for more floor space for robot obstacle testing.

In any given space, 20-30 children will produce a lot of carbon dioxide. Therefore, indoor air quality is the top criterion. Climate control is also a must, especially with humidity in Asian countries.

As much variety of children's materials available in the lab as possible. Therefore, a part of the space needs to be reserved for storing items and resources. We need to remember that children are small so it is not feasible to store things vertically. Some materials may be stored overhead and when needed, teachers or other support staff may be able to take them down and distribute them. This method is especially suitable for potentially hazardous resources. For example, sharp things. Such materials can cause stabbing accidents. However, other materials should be stored horizontally and in a location that is easily accessible to children. Risk management, health, and safety should always be at the forefront of any STEM lab. First aid kits should be readily available.  

To increase the flexibility of the STEM lab, iPads or similar devices are often provided to children for classroom work. High-profile desktop computers and large touch screens are also available in STEM labs for video editing or other specification-heavy software applications. Not only for video production or music production, these highly configurable computers are also used for coding and programming robots.

STEM labs aren't just for intermediate to advanced kids. Young children can also use plastic or wooden robots with specific command blocks to learn about programming concepts. As children progress, they can move on to working with more complex robots programmed by computers with blocks of code or simple programming languages ​​like Python.


STEM Lab should be designed for all ages and levels of children

Prepare diverse STEM resources

For preschoolers, the basics are the best. Almost all basic items can be obtained from home and school. They can be Lego, or similar building blocks. Various other materials are commonly found around the house such as paper boxes and tubes, plastic bottles, string, rubber bands and newspapers. Other items that should be stocked are craft sticks, glue, paper and plastic cups and plates, pipe cleaners, clay, aluminum foil, ping pong balls, and cotton balls. Think about recycling. Budgets for expensive items such as printers, 3D printers, ipads, monitors, can be dealt with separately later.

Get parents to send these items to school or talk to local stores and ask them to leave your school with boxes of all sizes. Ask parents to clean these items before bringing them to school. Duct tape, double-sided tape is a must-have and if you have a 3D printer that would be great. The list of supplies is still long, but it is essential for teachers to prepare lesson plans in advance and find out what materials and supplies will be used in upcoming classroom projects. Please visit  https://stemsmart.net/ to discover more.

Many STEM labs also include virtual reality devices that allow children to experience learning and creativity more effectively. Kids can explore the structure of the human body or go on virtual field trips to museums with just a headset and controller. Children can also design objects using 3D printers.

STEM Lab should be equipped with necessary resources

Use tools like toys

Provide scientific equipment for children to use. Magnifiers are great tools for encouraging observation, and they can be used in many situations, especially for outdoor activities, such as observing plants and insects. Why does something look different, and what do children notice when they look at the object with a magnifying glass? Scales, thermometers, rulers and timers, and even stopwatches can help children learn to measure and compare objects. Even just having these devices available for children to hold and play with is a great stepping stone to teaching the concepts involved.

We can introduce STEM theory to children simply by presenting materials and letting them explore on their own. Many other activities can also be incorporated easily into what you are doing. Add a little time during or after story time to engage your child in STEM fun activities and let the learning process happen naturally.

What else do children need?

Teachers and staff are trained in STEM

Perhaps the most important thing children need in a STEM lab is teachers and staff who are trained in STEM and have experience doing what they've been trained for. Teachers play an important role in nurturing children's interests and confidence in STEM fields. Teachers should be trained in the methodology of STEM education, as well as in the specific tools and resources available in the STEM lab. Teachers should also be encouraged to use an inquiry and hands-on approach to teaching, allowing children to explore and discover concepts on their own. In addition, it takes a lot of enthusiasm and motivation from the adults around the child. Building children's self-belief and do-it-yourself mindset is critical to successful academic outcomes.

Parent involvement

The school's biggest and best resource is probably the parents. Communication and inclusion are very important in nurturing children's joy and enjoyment. Parents are often very willing to get involved and give their skills, knowledge, wisdom, time, and more.

For example, a class with 20 children means about 40 parents and many grandparents. If a school can get these parents involved, it will have more than 50 teaching assistants at no cost. Some parents will have skills and experience in the field of design and construction. So why don't we invite them to share with students? You should definitely take advantage of potential key resources. Don't waste the opportunity to access these resources.


In short, a STEM Lab or a STEM lab can provide preschoolers with a rich and engaging learning environment. By building a well-equipped STEM Lab, providing teachers with the training and necessary resources, and promoting parent involvement in STEM education, we can help prepare children for a bright and successful future in STEM fields and beyond. By fostering children's natural curiosity and love of learning, we can help unleash their full potential and lay the groundwork for them to become the next generation of leaders.