This article covers essential information about how to encourage a love of STEM subjects in your child. Science, technology, engineering, and math are subjects that are vital for the success of humankind. Yet all too often kids can be put off studying these fascinating and important fields early in their lives. Indeed, some kids like girls, those from a non-white background, and those that identify as LGBT+ can have a particularly hard time with these types of subjects. Fortunately, the good news is there are plenty of ways you can encourage a love for STEM in your child. Read about the most effective (and fun!) ones below.
How To Encourage a Love of STEM Subjects In Your Child
1. Motivate Them With STEM Role Models
One of the best ways to encourage your child’s love of STEM is to present them with role models from the field who they can look up to. You can encourage your child to think of them as STEM superheroes and they can be historical such as:
- Dorothy Vaughan, a famous high school teacher turned ‘super computer’ for NASA (Read more about her at https://www.nasa.gov/content/dorothy-vaughan-biography),
- Alan Turning, who cracked the Enigma Code,
- Grace Hopper – an early pioneer of computer programming.
A fun way to do this is to do a report on their favorite STEM role model. They can look up pictures, find out what they are best known for and create a poster or presentation. They can even depict them as a superhero if they like, with their STEM skill as their superpower.
2. Encourage Video Gaming
Now, most parents think that kids should be spending their time studying rather than gaming. However, there can be a great deal of value in video games, especially when it comes to STEM. First of all sandbox-style games like Roblox encourage creating and thinking outside of the box and there is nothing more STEM than that.
Also studying how games work including programming and physics is very much part of STEM. In particular, get your child to focus on the underlying mechanics of the games they are playing, the design of the game, and even the game development process.
3. Learn Together
When your kids are young, you’ve probably noticed that they want to be involved in everything you are. That often means they want what you have to eat on your plate, or demand to ‘help’ with household chores!
The good news is you can use this to your advantage and encourage learning about STEM together. Indeed, becoming your child’s study buddy will not only help them feel more engaged in the topic but will help them form a positive attitude towards learning and provide some quality time spent together as well.
Don’t panic though, you don’t have to come up with your lesson plans and resources to do this activity. Instead, why not use the interesting and fun lessons you will find at www.generationgenius.com/videolessons/sunlight-warms-the-earth-video-for-kids that are available in video form? They even come with vocab lists with definitions, as well as discussion questions, SIY activity guides, and assessments so it couldn’t be easier to learn with your child.
4. Summer Tech Camp
Many kids enjoy spending time away from home in the summer vacation, and now you can encourage their interest in STEM at the same time. Many tech camps focus on computer science, coding, or the maker movement. The latter is where kids use STEM skills to make and program physical items like robots. If your child isn’t into staying away from home during the summer, there is always the option of a virtual camp as well. They are run over video software like Zoom and provide a group experience, as well as specialist teaching and support from the comfort of your own home.
5. Invest In Some STEM Toys
There are few better ways to encourage a child to like something than to present them with a fun and engaging toy like the ones I discuss at https://inspiringmompreneurs.com/best-educational-toys-preschoolers. Fortunately, there are now all sorts of amazing STEM-themed options that your little one will love. One of the most popular right now is the Sphero which are programmable robot balls that teach the basics of coding.
There are also some amazing coding kids called Mindstorm that encourage the construction and programming of everything from robots to banner printers and even electric guitars.
6. Visit Science Museums
Last of all if you want your child to love STEM then taking them on a visit to the nearest science museum in a big city is a great idea. This is because science museums like the one you will find at https://www.mos.org/ tend to be packed with interactive displays and activities covering all sorts of exciting topics such as Space, The Body, Medicine, and even mathematical sculptures. Be sure to check out the website of your nearest science museum before you plan your visit too as they often hold special sessions led by inspiring professionals that will capture your child’s interest and help forge a love for the field.
We hope you have found this post about 6 ways to encourage a love of STEM subjects, insightful and that you will implement some or all of them to help your child develop an interest in these subjects from a young age.