How to Get Your Child Interested in STEM

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STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. It is a broad term that encompasses many different career paths as well as many educational opportunities. It can be daunting when you first come into contact with it but there are things you can do to help your child, who is interested in computers, robots, and technology, feel more comfortable with the subject. Here are just a few ideas!

Early Bird Catches the Worm

The main idea is to start early and give your child exposure to several different types of STEM. This way they will become more and more interested as they continue to experience all the interesting things these fields have to offer. It is especially important in middle school and high school because this is when curiosity about science and math really starts growing. If children start showing interest in certain areas of STEM, their teachers and parents should encourage them to continue learning about it. They might not start with equations for Kinematic, but they will get there eventually. It’s important to offer them tools, the source to try things out, and the room they need to explore their interests.

Additionally, the subject of robotics is a great way to get your child thinking about engineering. First, think of what kinds of things they enjoy doing – building things with their hands, working with technology or electronics? Robots are a great way for children to experience all three!

STEM Toys for Kids

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Okay so maybe not everyone had a robot as a toy growing up, but your children don’t have to miss out on this exciting technological advancement. It is never too early to start introducing STEM toys for kids! And even though the robots may not be automated yet (no self-driving cars for preschoolers just yet!) they can still give your child an early introduction to mechanical engineering concepts.

On the other hand, maybe your child doesn’t like to play with robots but likes the creativity and interactive way of building things. Building blocks are a fantastic way for children to start thinking about architecture or even engineering! This is an example of STEM which isn’t math or science-related, but still very important to study.

The best thing is they can play with these toys at any age and the concepts will always be applicable even as they grow older. For example, building structures with Legos® is fun for your two-year-old, but once they hit twenty, you will find them using it for something else!

STEM Activities

Robotics kits are pretty popular in science stores now, but many other activities can help cultivate an interest in STEM! For example, you can try giving your child tips on different science experiments which deal with the subjects that it is currently studying.

These might include different types of microscopes that kids can use to look at cells or make things like bubbles. There are also chemistry sets that can be very interesting if you let them melt different kinds of materials! They can also experiment with different types of plants or fruits and vegetables to learn about their DNA structure.

Scholarships

If you want your child to find out more about science and math-related careers, look into opportunities for scholarships. There are many private grants available that students can search for online. Another good thing to do would be talking to other family members who have been successful in these areas – maybe even one of your relatives was a physicist! If you can relate any anecdotes from their lives it will help your child see that it is an exciting and fulfilling career to pursue.

You should also talk about the different expenses involved in getting a university education if your child decides they want to work in the STEM field. Start saving for this early so they will be ready when it comes time to pay tuition!

And if you can, make sure your child knows how much you believe in them and their abilities. They might not always think of themselves as smart but hearing someone else tell them differently can help build up their confidence and increase their motivation!

These are just a few ideas – there are so many! Find what truly interests them and let them explore it. Some children may enjoy science as a subject, while others might be more into math as an activity. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to STEM fields, but hopefully, this will provide you with some great tips on how to get your child interested in STEM. What you as parents can do is to make sure your kids grow up loving STEM by always encouraging any interest they have in these subjects even if they are not good at them now.

 

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About the Author: Brian Novak