Many parents struggle with this important dilemma: how to get kids excited about STEM? This is techJOynT’s speciality as a STEM Academy that truly believes in a different way of learning. Let’s be honest, this kind of subjects have a tendency to be less liked by youngsters in most countries, regardless of their educational models. The fact spreads like wildfire since graduates in these areas are believed to be geniuses, or because Science, Technology, Engineering and Math tend to be seen as the hardest subjects of all at school.
But the truth is, most parents don’t want their kids to fear these studies. Actually, we want them to embrace sciences. It’s pretty clear that even if they don’t choose a career related to STEM, it will always be present and useful in their professional and even everyday lives. That’s why we’ve created a useful guide to let you know what can you do for your young tinkerers at home and how can you actually get your kids to like STEM! Read on to find our top suggestions and tips for parents and teachers.
Don’t give up on TV and entertainment
One of the strategies that have been most commonly used with scientifically proven positive results, is to show the enjoyable side of sciences. TV is a big part of our life right now and it’s important to accept it as such. That’s not bad at all! Besides literature and learning programs, remember you can add audiovisual media to the mix.
Many shows like Beakman’s World or Bill Nye The Science Guy, to name a few of the most popular ones, have guided several generations through the path of science using games and casual experiments.
The sci-fi (science fiction) genre in movies and series as well as the topic of science in general have in fact become popular too, so why not taking advantage of that? Today’s most mediatic scientific, Neil deGrasse Tyson, constantly confesses his interest in science actually came from the TV show “Cosmos”, made by the also commonly mentioned scientist Carl Sagan.
2. Pulling off the game of STEM
One of the main problems most schools face when teaching STEM is the abstract aspect of it. Kids have a very hard time understanding how what they’re being told in class can be useful at some point of their lives. The very first levels of education seem to be easy and effective because basic operations can certainly be a piece of cake, and basic explanation makes it all very comprehensible for them.
However, a common mistake is telling them to solve a problem without explaining the general context nor adding a logic behind it to make it more intuitive. It’s similar to telling them to play a game of football or baseball without explaining the rules or mechanics behind them. It simply becomes a game of kicking or batting the ball and nothing else.
So intuitiveness is the key! For example, if we teach them statistics and numerals that may help them understand the news or politics, which will make the child notice the usefulness of the sciences being taught. The same happens with game design, electronics, app development and robotics: they’re all learning pathways to channel other seemingly unrelated interests like arts, creativity or building into modern abilities compatible with our new Digital Era.
3. Everyday motivation to get your kids excited about STEM
Once in context, what follows is to wonder what to do as parents to increase our children’s interest in science. First of all, don’t tell your child that you hated sciences, even if that was or is the case. Anxiety for mathematics can create or deepen social bonds, but if the young ones find out their role models (their parents) were scared of science, they may start being fearful of it and enter the world of science with an already biased perception.
Instead, tell them about how scientists fought against what was established and even changed how society used to function. Or, in the playful side of things, there are books like Bedtime Math with riddles and puzzles about this topic, as well as many blogs with fun science-related activities to do with your kids.
Try to embrace an analytic approach to your child’s daily activities to demonstrate the presence of science in almost all of them: why is the shortest path home actually the shorter one? Is it because it’s closer, because the path/road is straight…? What’s the difference between grams and kilograms? How can your child save money? You can both try to spot science in everything.
Lastly, consider meeting with the science teachers and plan together motivational strategies. Of course, having a limit is also important, as pressure on some students can also be counterproductive and cause negative reactions. Our sincere advice is to get your kids excited about STEM by finding what is his or her passion.
Through original educational programs like Game Design Courses, techJOynT™ offers an alternative way to learn Science, Technology, Engineering and Math using your child’s favourite things to make the process easier and fun, but there’s much more you can do at home. Give the right message, encourage your child in learning new things and never underestimate the capability of a joyful kid!