This week we headed to our local Sylvan Learning Center in Laguna Niguel to check out some of their STEM learning offerings.
My kids were not sure what to expect and were a little wary. After a summer of fun and relaxation, they got the usual itchies when faced with anything labelled “educational.”
Their apprehension dissolved within five minutes of the beginning of their coding lesson.
Thanks to Sylvan Learning Center in Laguna Niguel for providing us access to these STEM classes and to Sylvan Learning Center for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.
The earlier you can give your child fun, hands-on experiences with science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), the better you can set your child up for success in advanced classes and in fast-growing, high-paying careers.
My sons are both game enthusiasts. With a coder for a dad they are no stranger to the idea of digital dev but to date, they have not expressed much of an interest in coding and I wasn’t sure how they would react to the session at Sylvan. I was curious to see how the lesson was taught.
The instructor was super personable and laid out tablets for my sons to use with the lesson. After some brief explanation about the concept of “gravity” in gaming environments, the boys were set to start creating their own game. I was impressed by how immediately their instructor not only put them at ease, but made the entire experience into something cool and special.
I felt a little surge of pride when my younger son attempted to break the systems he was coding. He asked questions like “What happens if I set the values to x and y,” instead of using suggested values. I know enough to know that it is exactly that sort of questioning and thinking that we want our kids to do. Perhaps this class was the birth of a future tech CTO.
Next we sampled a robotics class where the kids got to build an alligator and then brought it to life. It had snapping jaws with motion sensors and sound effects. They were able to tinker with programming and get it to do a few other things as well. Their instructor challenged them to think of modifications – mentioning that one student added wheels to their bot.
Once again, at the end of the hour they wanted to keep going, build more projects and test out more things. Their one question was, “When can we come back?!”
A video posted by ciaran blumenfeld (@momfluential) on
I credit the great curriculum and instructor for making this intro less fun but there are a lot of reasons why so many families love Sylvan’s EDGE classes.
Highly interactive. Highly creative. Highly fun! Sylvan’s hands-on STEM activities are a blast — from building robots, to designing video games, to competing in exciting challenges.
Sylvan uses their own, proprietary curriculum. In addition to being super fun, it encourages innovation, creativity and critical thinking. Your child will learn the STEM skills and vocabulary words needed to excel in school, careers and life.
GROWS WITH YOUR CHILD:
Your child can progress through Sylvan’s STEM programs from grades 1-8. They’ve intentionally focused on these pivotal grade levels to nurture an early love for STEM. And there’s always another cool class to take!
No one else uses technology in its STEM programs like Sylvan. From their use of netbooks, to award-winning LEGO® Education software, to Tynker™ technology, to K’NEX® pieces, they turn screen time into skill time!
Learning shouldn’t stop at the end of the class. It should continue far beyond. Sylvan has created a variety of tools to help you encourage STEM conversations and learning at home. They’re a great way to get concepts to stick!
To discover more about Sylvan’s Stem Classes near you, visit the Sylvan Learning Center web site.