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Alliance for Education Path for Success

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Select a grade to proceed down the Alliance for Education path for success

Trial and Error: How Tinkering Helps Kids Learn

3-5 students

Science is one piece of the whole puzzle that is Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, or STEM. Science needs mathematics and technology to help solve problems. Engineering provides design solutions. Together, they are a powerful way to encourage curiosity, provide practical tools for understanding the natural and man-made world that students live in, and together they help students to develop skills in critical thinking, problem-solving and creativity.

Where do we see practical examples of STEM on television? Programs that highlight knowledge and skills in STEM include Mythbusters, How Its Made, Cake Boss, Renovation Realities, and even American Choppers! Parents don't have to be engineers or scientists to help students engage in thinking about how things are made, the considerations behind making things a certain way, and the importance of both the academic and technical skills necessary to make products and processes that are safe, not harmful for people or the environment and that have a benefit to our communities and society as a whole. While shows like Mythbusters have a whole lot of fun exploring myths and testing hypotheses, they also highlight the importance of understanding how to structure an experiment, test a hypothesis, and adjust when needed to get the information needed to prove or disprove a particular myth. These skills when applied to STEM learning can help students regardless of their chosen career field. Students who understand how to think critically, solve problems and be creative will be on their way to success in a fast-changing, high-tech world.

How it Inspires Our Kids

The Alliance for Education continues to partner with school districts, postsecondary partners and community and faith-based organizations to support efforts in providing early learning experiences and parent education. If you or your organization would like to partner with the Alliance, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

Get Started!

Check out the video from and the web links below for more exploration resources:

Maker Faire

The Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation at the Smithsonian:--check out the video on making a sound sandwich!

Boston Museum of Science's Engineering is Elementary Program