< 1 min read
Most kids, even those who are good at Math and Science, often accept the stereotypes and biases that exist around STEM (Science, Math, Engineering, and Technology) and STEM careers. Parents, teachers, and peers can all play a role in whether a child or teen perseveres with STEM subjects in high school or college.
I would love to know what activities or games you encourage at home to keep your kids or teens curious about STEM.
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I'm all about reading and exercise and imaginative and creative play with my littles as I feel like they spend too much time on their devices.
So your question made me think about the importance of STEM activities. I know that all 5 of the grands would enjoy more STEM projects. I have the kids a lot in the summer and am always looking for new ideas for fun and stimulating activities for the kids. While they help with the planting, we rarely employ STEM info in our daily time together.
I plan to incorporate science museums, biology, and STEM scavenger hunts on our summer fun list this summer. I also want to add a paleologic dig of some sort.
Thanks for pointing out the importance of STEM for our kids!
While I only have a toddler age child, I’m always mindful of the links with STEM in her play.
The Oobleck book is a great one to read and then for making the cornstarch recipe and teaching her about the science of the textures.
We also do a lot of planting of seeds and looking at the biology side of things with insects and nature outside.
And of course, incorporate maths games into card games and stories.
We also visit environmental centres and our SciTech activity centre for all that is Science!
I may have been living in denial all my life, or, as a natural wallflower, just not noticed, but there's a stereotype around those who like STEM? Like the "nerd" stereotype? I guess since I've always been a bookworm, I was considered "nerdy" as well, so I didn't really notice!
And with STEM careers, I find it fascinating that a stereotype exists here, too! Is it because people still think those with high intelligence and problem solving skills are quirky?
Thanks for giving me something to ponder...
Anyway, on to your question!
We LOVE math and science in our house. My husband is a biomedical engineer and we're all into technology and how it helps our daily lives and changes the world, for the better. We also discuss how it can harm and how we can be involved in preventing that.
When my kids were teens, especially the youngest who was homeschooled, we would get a book of science experiments from the library and just have at it, doing as many as we could. If we needed a lot of different materials, we would go to the local thrift store searching for them. We spent hours making messes, trying to understand how things worked, taking things apart to look at their "innards," and just questioning everything around us.
I think that had been the biggest help for us to keep (for us what is probably a natural) interest alive for all things STEM - We question everything. And we don't just ask the question, we find the answer. Through the use of technology, we search Google all the time for answers to our random questions about the planet, our bodies, etc. Curiosity seems to be a big driver behind keeping these subjects at the forefront.
I think having a question board somewhere in the house is a good idea. Whenever there is a random thought, or question, along rhe STEM realm, anyone can write it down, and all the family members can help answer it.
As a side note, to show just how nerdy we are... When I remarried, part of my bachelorette "party" was going to an osteology museum! I wanted to spend my time looking at bones, and my daughters were happy to oblige!