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Helping Young Students Get STEM Smart

Smiling schoolchildren touching red electric robot on desk in stem class - depositphotos.com

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) are the foundation of many modern industries.

STEM education is essential for students to develop problem-solving skills and critical thinking abilities that will help them succeed in their future career paths. There are still a lot of young students who lack access to quality STEM education resources or have difficulty understanding these topics.

How Early STEM Education Influences Kids' Future

Research has shown that early STEM education can have a significant impact on the college choices of students. Students who receive a strong foundation in science, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) at an early age are more likely to pursue higher-level courses in these fields, leading to increased college enrollment in STEM-related majors.

This early education can have a lasting impact on students, as those who participate in STEM activities are more likely to choose college majors related to these fields. Students with an interest in STEM-related fields also typically perform better academically than their peers who don't have access to such resources.

There are numerous ways we can help these young learners get smarter about STEM so they can better prepare themselves for the future.

Do Not Force Kids To Do STEM Projects

Getting children interested in STEM can be a difficult task. It is important to remember that children have an innate curiosity about the world. The more they are exposed to STEM subjects early on, the better they will learn about these topics.

There are a number of factors that can lead to a child's dislike of these topics. For example, they may develop math anxiety or believe they are not smart enough to do these kinds of activities.

Changing their perception can be a great way to get them excited about the subject and help them succeed in school.

There are many ways to engage a child in STEM projects. Some ideas are fun and interactive, while others focus on critical thinking and problem-solving skills. You do not have to use specific materials to do these projects.

You do not have to be a scientist to do these activities either. They can be enjoyed by kids of all ages. Kids can explore the solar system, build a sun shelter, and even create a marble maze.

These activities are not meant to be pushy or overly academic. In fact, they are designed to be more engaging for children. Using a variety of materials, kids can design an airplane, catapults, or earthquake-proof buildings.

Apply STEM In Everyday Life

Everyday activities such as cooking, shopping, and cleaning are great opportunities to teach STEM skills.

These activities also offer the chance to get kids in touch with their natural curiosity. Observing the world around them, asking questions, and solving problems are important elements of STEM.

Every day, kids are constantly experimenting with different things. For example, they might be wondering why the paper clip sticks to the magnet when they are right next to it. While they might not know why this happens, they can still have a good idea of how to solve the problem.

Encourage Them To Ask Questions

You can play a role in helping kids understand the importance of STEM in everyday life. Encourage them to ask "what" questions. Getting them to think critically about the answers will help them build confidence in their abilities.

Do Experiments Together

You can also encourage them to try out the scientific method by doing experiments with household items. Using the materials you have available to you, children can investigate the properties of water or see how to make their vacuum cleaners go faster.

When kids are old enough to learn more about the process, you can take them to the zoo or to a nature center. They can observe animals up close and interact with hands-on exhibits.

Make STEM Interesting

Using STEM to make learning fun is a smart move. It can encourage logical thinking, a thirst for knowledge, and a desire to explore. With a little creativity, children can develop skills that will serve them well in the real world.

Incorporating STEM activities into their daily routine is easy. Kids will enjoy exploring the natural world around them without leaving home.

STEM education is offered in many different settings. Classrooms offer hands-on experiences and experiments that engage students in science and math. You can also teach them STEM through DIY projects.

Ask the Kids To Help You With Some DIY

If you're wondering how to get your kid interested in STEM, you should start by engaging them with some simple, DIY STEM projects. STEM activities foster the love of discovery and exploration. Your child can build amazing structures, learn about the different states of matter, and engage in technology.

  1. Bridge Building One of the most classic STEM activities is bridge building. Building a bridge requires a combination of engineering skills and creativity. You can use items such as popsicle sticks, push pins, and paper towel rolls.
  2. Balloon-Powered Car Another simple STEM activity is to make a balloon-powered car. Kids can use recycled materials such as cardboard tubes and tape to create their own wind-powered vehicles. "
  3. Teach Your Child About Non-Newtonian Fluid Using Egg For younger children, you can teach them about the properties of non-Newtonian fluid by filling an egg with it. Oobleck is a type of non-Newtonian fluid that flows like liquid when held in your hand. The trick is to fill it with a bit of vinegar and food coloring. Seal the bag with a binder clip to keep the mixture in place.
  4. Rain In A Jar Another easy DIY STEM project is a rain in a jar experiment. This teaches capillary action, which is important to understand when learning about water. Add a bit of baking soda to a gallon-sized Ziploc bag and seal it with a binder clip.
  5. Build A Wind Powered Rescue Mission For example, you can build a wind powered rescue mission to help demonstrate the strength and stability of shapes. The best way to learn about magnetism is to play with it. " Marble Maze A great STEM activity to get your kid's attention is the marble maze. Use a variety of common household ingredients to make a beautiful maze
  6. Use Solar Power To Cook Food Another STEM activity is to use a solar oven to cook food. This can be a great way to learn about the energy-saving potential of solar power. " And There's More Some of the most common examples of STEM are using a telescope, building a catapult, or building a tower using a straw. If your kids are a little older, they can build an airplane from clothespins.

Some STEM Games You Can Play With Young Children

These activities will not only keep the children entertained, but also help them develop critical thinking, creativity, and perseverance.

  1. Marble Run A Marble Run is a great STEM activity for all ages. You can build the run out of cardboard tubes and straws or LEGO bricks. It's also a great team-building challenge.
  2. Build A Catapult Another way to explore the world of science is by making a catapult. This STEM activity uses common materials and is entirely fun. The best parts to make a homemade catapult are craft sticks, rubber bands, and string.
  3. Domino Maze/Money Battleship Other great STEM games to try are the Domino Maze and Money Battleship. Both are designed to help teens build critical thinking skills and develop problem-solving abilities.

Make it Fun

Find out what your kids are interested in, and the best way to elicit this information is to ask.

It's a good idea to include a mix of fun and educational experiences. This includes field trips, hands-on experiments, and in-home learning. Be it a formal science class or a more relaxed scholastic activity, a few hours in a lab or a hands-on learning session with your child will go a long way towards laying the foundation for a more robust relationship later on.

One of the most rewarding aspects of this partnership is a child's innate curiosity about the world around them. Using these cues to your advantage will serve you well for years to come.

As mentioned earlier, the best way to elicit this type of interest in a kiddo is to keep it lighthearted and fun. Take the kids to the science center for the fun and games that they will enjoy.

Of course, if you want to get them to do more than just hang out in the lab, you will need to enlist their help. While they are occupied, you can work on their homework or even better yet, let them pick out a new toy to put their science knowledge to the test.

Final Word

By encouraging an early exposure to and interest in STEM, providing inspiring and engaging learning opportunities, and fostering an environment of creativity, exploration, and critical thinking, educators can help young students develop their STEM skills and become savvy innovators in their fields.

To ensure the success of these programs, schools must also ensure that students have access to the right resources, support, and guidance. With the right combination of resources, educators can help students gain a strong foundation in STEM that will last a lifetime.

Guest Blogger:
Emma is a gardener, a bookkeeper, writer, and mother of three. She is spending her time mostly in her garden. When she is not there, you will find her working on developing her own line of homemade natural skincare products.



Internet4classrooms is a collaborative effort by Susan Brooks and Bill Byles.




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