Social Connections Boost Motivation

These research findings show that very young children are more engaged in learning when STEM activities are social. Working together with others in groups makes activities more meaningful and more enjoyable. Adults can incorporate this into their interactions with children by using social language when they talk about STEM. They can say things like, “Let’s figure this puzzle out TOGETHER.” “Here’s a tool we can try AS A GROUP.” “What can you build with your PARTNER?” “What will happen if WE do this?” Teachers can create classroom-wide groups to make sure everyone feels included. They can say things like, “Our WHOLE class does science together,” and “Time for US to work on our math problems.” We don’t always realize how social STEM can be, and how much we can motivate STEM engagement by making it social.

  • Scaffolding
    the support a caregiver provides a child to help them achieve more than they would be able to accomplish on their own
    (science, technology, engineering, math) a group of topics linked by a common focus and approach