What is S.T.E.M ?
STEM is an approach to learning and development that integrates the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. STEM is receiving increased focus in the educational sector because technology is rapidly changing the jobs our children will be employed to do in many years time. Three are many statistics out there about how many jobs will be automated or obsolete by the time our children are grown up. 65% of the jobs our kids will have not yet been invented ! It is safe to say that technology will be large part of this.
Our Montessori program already embeds STEM concepts across a variety of activities and experiences & more than satisfies the requirements under the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework. We could just leave STEM there however we find ourselves asking what would Maria Montessori do if she was alive today ? Would she accept the status quo or would she continue to search for more engaging ways to educate children of modern times ? We think the latter which is why we're always experimenting with new activities and technology that may benefit our children.
We've been following the Cubetto project since it's inception in 2013 & have been actively trialing it since 2017. Cubetto is the friendly wooden robot that will teach your child the basics of computer programming through adventure and hands on play in Montessori way.
What makes Cubetto suitable for Montessori?
It's non-prescriptive - Cubetto gives children the ability to solve problems within the world they create. This gives them freedom to express their creativity and aptitudes, unconstrained by the challenges of literacy, or the distractions of a screen.
It's child-centered - All they need to get started is a nudge in understanding that blocks = actions. After this point, even the discovery of what each block does can be led by the child, leaving adults to observe and only help when needed.
It's auto-didactic - Solving problems with the blocks is about trial and error. Once a sequence is sent to Cubetto, the result is immediate and non-abstract, giving children concrete grounds on which to self-correct without adult intervention. Just change the blocks and go again.
It's designed for scaffolding: When a problem is too complex, the right sequence is easily pooled from collective knowledge of children in the play session. Each child can in turn add a block, or a suggestion, layering in their individual competence to the solution in small steps.
How does Cubetto teach coding?
Algorithms - Algorithms are sets of precise instructions that form a program. Cubetto’s blocks are a physical representation of an unambiguous instruction that children can touch.
The Queue: Instructions in programs are executed following a precise order. On the Board instructions are put together following a wavy line that represents a command line.
Debugging: The instructions are laid on the board, and are immediately executed by Cubetto, so when he doesn't arrive where he should, fixing mistakes is as easy as swapping a block.
Recursions: Create a subroutine by "packing" a sequence in the function line, and call it in the queue with a blue block when you need it. Make long sequences shorted and more elegant, like in the real world.
Infinite Loops: Insert a function block in the function line and watch Cubetto go loopy.
Hear why Randi Zuckerberg, former Director of Market Development at Facebook recommends Cubetto for teaching children programming concepts.
"This will teach girls and boys all over the world the basics of programming away from the screen"
Hear why Montessori Directress Melissa Stockdale recommends Cubetto as the leading piece of STEM equipment for Montessori classrooms.
"To see children totally absorbed in Cubetto and motivated was a special Montessori moment"
Cubetto in Action
Please contact us if you would like more information about Cubetto or STEM .