Inaugural Collab Kid U Embarks on Full STEAM Ahead Learning Adventure at Rice University

With a particular focus on the pivotal 3-5 developmental years, we recognize that nearly 90% of a child’s brain is developed during this absorbent mind stage. This event is designed to spark a love for learning at an early age. Dr. Melanie Johnson, the President and CEO of Collaborative for Children shares what children will have the chance to experience at this event.

  1. Can you define “intelligent fun” so parents will get an idea of what to expect?

In short, it’s about making learning exciting and meaningful for young learners, setting the stage for a lifetime of curiosity and discovery.  “Intelligent fun” at Collab Kid U refers to engaging and entertaining activities that stimulate children’s minds, foster curiosity, and promote learning in science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) disciplines.  It’s about igniting children’s imaginations while enhancing their cognitive skills, problem-solving abilities, and creativity.

  1. How important are STEAM type of activities even for the younger kids?

STEAM activities are essential for younger children because they provide a holistic approach to learning that integrates multiple disciplines: science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics. STEAM activities at Collab Kid U will help to develop critical skills, hands-on learning, and curiosity, prepare them for 21st-century careers, and promote interdisciplinary learning.  STEAM activities at Collab Kid U will offer younger children a dynamic and engaging way to develop essential skills, explore their interests, and prepare for future academic and professional endeavors.

3. What does the day look like for this special event? 

Play is at the center of every child’s education, and Collab Kid U has no set schedule; children can explore and play at their own tempo and focus on their areas of interest.  Collab Kids will be encouraged to visit every station, receive achievement stickers at each station, and finish their day with a Collab Kid U diploma. 


As far as STEAM education for young children:

During the absorbent mind stage (ages 3-5) we recognize that nearly 90% of a child’s brain is being developed.

According to the Department of Labor, more than 65 percent of today’s students will grow up having careers that do not exist yet—underlying the importance of STEAM education, as that will be the basis of most of these careers.  We simply must get children excited and curious about STEAM if they are going to be set up for 21st century success.

Collaborative for Children uses STEAM and 21st century challenges (coding, climate solutions, life sciences, renewable energy, robotics) to teach school-readiness skills in prek children. 

Research has demonstrated that when children are taught STEM subjects in their early years, they naturally develop confidence, an innate curiosity, and an enthusiasm for exploring challenging concepts. Children are encouraged to take on risks and solve complex problems while working in groups, helping students develop strong interpersonal, communication, and critical thinking skills. In addition, STEM education is important for overall brain development. In a study on early brain development, researchers found that focusing on scientific thinking and logic can develop children’s prefrontal cortex, leading to a higher IQ and greater stress resilience.

Photos courtesy: Collaborative for Children