STEM is a hot topic! Parents are becoming very aware of the potential for their children if they develop these skills. Some common professions are related to STEM, doctors, engineers, architects, etc. So, if you want to encourage your child’s interest in STEM, but do not know how to, we’ve got you. Here are 6 strategies to help you get kids excited!
What is STEM?
For starters, the term STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. It’s an educational approach encouraging students to use their knowledge to solve real-world problems and develop innovative solutions. It helps bridge the gap between education and industry and equips students with the skills they need to pursue STEM-related careers.
Of course, STEM subjects are rooted in fundamental concepts such as physics, chemistry, biology, math, computer science, engineering, and more. You can also expect coding classes for kids in this type of education. It’s a critical part of STEM education because it applies their knowledge in math, science, and engineering to build applications that can help shape our future.
Benefits of STEM
STEM education can offer numerous benefits to your little genius. Here are a few of them:
- Improves critical thinking and logic
- Fosters curiosity and creativity
- Enhances communication skills
- Promotes teamwork
- Encourages persistence
- Prepares your kids for the future
Now that we’ve learned what it is all about and how it can help your kids let’s move on to the strategies that can help encourage your child to go this path.
Ways To Encourage Your Child’s Interest In STEM
1. Point out real-life examples about how STEM is used
Showing children how they engage with STEM subjects in their daily lives is one of the best methods to pique their interest in these fields. For instance, explain how boiling food at high temperatures can cause chemical reactions when preparing dinner. You can also point out simple devices and machines at home—tell them some things you know about how they operate. Or whenever you’re at a store, let your kid use cash to pay for the things they bought to show how math is used in real life.
There are numerous possibilities to show kids that STEM is all around us. All you have to do is be creative to introduce the subject in a fun and exciting way.
2. Show inspiring stories of people in STEM
Another way to encourage children’s interest in STEM is by showing role models. Children are often more likely to become interested in a subject when they can see examples of people who have been successful in that field. Introducing kids to STEM role models allows them to gain confidence and be inspired to pursue their interests.
But besides the famous scientists and engineers, you can also point out family members or friends in STEM-related jobs. It’s best to have someone they can talk to in-person so kids can really know what it’s like going that way. They can provide practical advice on how to get started, what resources are available, and how to handle the challenges of STEM.
3. Provide Resources
Providing STEM-based materials is another way to get your child interested in the subject. It can be as simple as the toys and games you buy them. Make sure they can help with developing logic and critical thinking. Also, do not limit the toys based on gender stereotypes. Let them explore toy trucks, kitchen sets, legos, toolboxes, etc. These toys are great for developing the skills they need for STEM education.
Aside from STEM-based toys, books and online videos about STEM can be great resources. They can gain a better understanding of the subject through those and also explore new topics.
4. Make STEM projects for kids every week
Experimentations and DIY projects are another great way to get your little one into STEM. By doing hands-on activities, kids can learn basic concepts and principles in a fun and engaging way. You can encourage them to do projects that can range from simple at-home experiments to more complex ones requiring the use of tools. Every time they finish off a project well, give them something as a token. It will excite them to do more experiments, which can also lead to them choosing the STEM curriculum.
5. Get outside and explore
It’s not always the expensive tools or fancy labs that can engage your kids in the STEM world. Sometimes, it’s the simplest things—the ones you see outside, like the stars, the weather, the structure and colors of trees and leaves, and many more. After all, STEM is all about understanding how the world works. Thus, you must explore the outside world and let your little one be curious about nature, astronomy, architecture, etc. Doing this can provoke a sense of wonder that can encourage them to explore further by getting into STEM.
6. Book a STEM Camp
Finally, you can look for educational camps and programs in your area. These programs are great for kids to learn from professionals and can help spark their interest in STEM. Additionally, they can meet other kids who share the same interests.
Local STEM Summer camps to discover
North Vancouver, 604/379-2767
BrainSTEM Learning® wants your kids to have fun and enjoy their summer like never before, using science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in a creative and fun way. Our Summer Camps are geared towards 4-6 year-olds and 7-14 year-olds. They are run over the course of Eight weeks half day or full day sessions daily, either in the morning or afternoon or add lunchtime care for full day. All required materials are provided by BrainSTEM Learning Canada. Registration at brainstemlearningcanada.perfectmind.com
Kitsilano, Kerrisdale, West Vancouver
Turn downtime into discovery time this summer at Steamoji! Our Vancouver locations are offering 10 weeks of STEM camps from June 26th through September 1st. Kids will learn new skills with fun, hands-on projects and activities, from engineering and design challenges (like a giant marble run), creating physical objects (like a 3D printed night light), coding Arduinos or making creative board games to play with their friends. For more information or to register now, visit steamoji.com/camps.