Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) concepts are often taught in school.
Unfortunately, STEM concepts aren’t always encouraged throughout higher education and in everyday life. As kids grow older, the focus on STEM becomes less and less. This is especially true among young girls. In fact, young girls are often encouraged to stray away from STEM subjects, which is a good part of the reason why only 14% of those in engineering and 15% of those in computer science are women. This is why it’s important to encourage kids of all ages to be interested in STEM. This article is going to delve into the importance of STEM and how parents can help their kids show an interest.
Why Should You Encourage an Interest in STEM?
STEM concepts are important for not only school but just for everyday life. People use math, engineering, and science each and every day. Without learning these STEM concepts, children won’t know how to handle these math and science situations. Cooking, making payments, and doing stuff around the house all involve STEM notions, which is why it’s important for kids to be encouraged to explore these ideas at a young age.
When kids are exposed to not only math and science but technology and engineering as well, they’ll be better equipped to handle real-life problems. They’ll be curious and excited to learn new ideas and they can break out of their comfort zone more easily. Kids who are interested in STEM have better problem-solving skills, a willingness to learn, and they could have an expanded potential career path later on in life.
Ways to Get Kids Interested in STEM
While kids are exposed to STEM in school, it’s important to encourage a STEM interest outside of school as well. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to do this.
Combine hobbies and science: Is your child interested in sports? Playing music? Gardening? Well, there is a way to combine science and math with any hobby your child is interested in. In sports, you can talk about different angles the ball can be kicked at or what happens to the human body when you run around. Gardening has tons of science involved, from photosynthesis to simple biology. All in all, combining science and math with something your child is already interested in will help encourage an interest in STEM.
Try some experiments: Trying new experiments at home can be a fun and easy way to encourage STEM concepts. This can be something simple, like baking or cooking, or it can be a simple science project. Playing around with food coloring, dropping eggs, and the infamous baking soda and vinegar can all be great ways to get young kids interested in science. The best part is that they’ll be focusing on the fun and it won’t even feel like learning.
Visit local museums: Museums are one of the best places to take kids of all ages. Not only do museums have exhibits on varying topics, but it combines fun with learning. You don’t have to only visit science museums either because all museums can show examples of math, science, and engineering. Even zoos and aquariums can touch on science and behavior. You should look for interactive exhibits whenever possible and encourage kids to ask questions to ensure they’re getting the most out of the experience.
STEM concepts are an important part of life, both as kids and as adults. By trying some of these ideas and always encouraging your kids to explore their interests, you can promote an interest in STEM ideas at any age.
Sean Oleson is a technician at Dunwell Tech, the official distributor of Dino-Lite Digital Microscopes.
“Expert Insight” is the independent views and opinions of the submitting named authors of this article.