Character Play Makes STEM Fun! (for preschool students and teachers)
Many preschool teachers experience anxiety when teaching STEM topics.
According to Elisabeth J. McClure et al., “Many teachers experience anxiety,
low confidence and gendered assumptions about STEM topics, which transfer to their students. Teachers can benefit from reconsidering STEM in
the context of developmentally informed, playful learning activities.”[i] This could include going on a scavenger hunt with Astro the Astronaut for planets and space aliens to engage students’ curiosity and wonder.
Character play makes STEM fun for both students and their preschool teachers.
At Surprise Powerz, we have developed a free book, Character Play Makes STEM Fun! (download your FREE book here), to support preschool teachers in providing their early learners—especially girls—with fun classroom STEM experiences. Our philosophy is rooted in shaping girls’ beliefs about what they can be successful at, starting from an early age. Girls tend to have less confidence in critical subjects like math and science. Our character play STEM book shows them fun, smart, and diverse role models and activities that support them in breaking barriers, solving problems, and having fun while doing it in STEM!
Our character play book has simple, fun activities to help make math and science exciting for your students, such as “Animals and Science!” with Vera the Vet or “Let’s Perform a Magic Trick” with Maria the Mathemagician. In addition, these STEM activities aim to help teachers make meaningful connections with their students by participating in fun activities alongside them.
Plus, increase STEM representation for underrepresented groups, including girls and children of color, within your dramatic play centers.
Many early learning classrooms have dramatic play centers, and kids love them! They are typically designated to a section of your classroom and are full of furniture, shelves, props, paper balls, etc. This is a great way for children to imagine themselves in certain roles. We encourage teachers to leverage Surprise Powerz STEM characters in dramatic play centers to help students, especially those traditionally underrepresented in STEM, to feel represented and to further imagine the characters’ fascinating STEM worlds. If you haven’t already, be sure to designate a section of your classroom to a dramatic play center. If you can see it, you can be it!
Promote STEM learning in your dramatic play center with these new sections:
- Animal Hospital
- Tech Company
- Space and Aeronautics Program
- Mathemagician Theater
See page 6 of your FREE Character Play book to learn how to set up your dramatic play center for STEM character play. Your students will enjoy imagining, pretending, and playing the roles of a veterinarian, coder, astronaut, or mathematician.
Share with parents in order to reinforce STEM learning at home.
We also ask teachers to share what students have learned with their parents, giving parents opportunities to extend the learning at home. The character play book we have developed shows teachers simple and fun ways that parents can reinforce the STEM learning at home.
Interested in purchasing Surprise Powerz dolls for your classroom?
Go to surprisepowerz.com or target.com to purchase Surprise Powerz dolls for your classroom. Your students will love their new classmates: Codie the Coder, Vera the Vet, Maria the Mathemagician, and Astro the Astronaut!
[i] McClure, E. R., Guernsey, L., Clements, D. H., Bales, S. N., Nichols, J., Kendall-Taylor, N., & Levine, M. H. (2017). STEM starts early: Grounding science, technology, engineering, and math education in early childhood. New York: The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop.