What is STEM learning? This is a daunting question for any parent or educator trying to help students advance. Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics are undoubtedly opening up the future in exciting new ways, but how do we get our kids interested in STEM?
Parents and educators are becoming more involved in STEM with each passing day, and you may be wondering how you as a member of the STEM community can impact this trend. Even if you aren’t a parent or educator, there are so many ways to help children get interested and involved with STEM. For more information on why STEM outreach is so important, click here. Continue reading to find out more on the resources available.
The big question remains: how do we get kids interested in STEM? Well, studies have shown that project based instruction and integrated stem have helped perk student’s interest. Project based learning or PBL takes on a DIY approach which naturally encourages deep involvement. Instead of laying out lesson plans, PBL takes interesting questions and through problem solving, kids deepen their understanding of STEM concepts. A quick trip down Google can produce great starter PBL ideas, but for more enjoyment, spend time talking and answering questions with the children around you using STEM as a tool.
This book offers many activities that get students engaged with STEM concepts. These can be incorporated into the classroom or done anywhere there are eager learners.
With the surge of interest in STEM fields, the resources have also multiplied. Stemfinity has a great collection of links for parents and educators alike. From online lecture based technical lessons provided by Khan Academy to super cool simulations that can be explored anywhere with the right java update by PHET (I cannot express how great this one is), there are a multitude of free and low cost resources out there. Another great source of online programs can be found here. From websites, contests, and camps, this place has a comprehensive list of tools and applications available for stem learning.
In need of more resources? Check out what is happening in your local community. See if there are any afterschool programs or activities done at your local library. As our technology evolves, so do the programs that are available at these facilities, so definitely check it out! If they aren’t available, see how you can create them with their help. Come with a drive and good idea and it is for sure to take off! The future is coming one way or another, but with the tools and fun that science, technology, engineering, and mathematics bring, the children around you with your involvement can help create it. Happy discoveries!