Kids might want to play on gadgets all day long but generally speaking, they don’t want to get into the nuts and bolts of science and technology. Nowadays, children don’t have any trouble navigating computers or using technology. On the other hand, these same kids don’t truly understand the full power of STEM subjects. Schools and parents alike are searching up new ways to get kids hooked on STEM. Here are a handful of smart ways to show kids that studying STEM is every bit as cool as playing on their videogame consoles.
Give Them a History of STEM in Modern Terms
Whether you sign your child up for a class on robotics or take them to a virtual reality gaming center, it is easier to sway children when they are able to learn interactively. They learn with their hands as much as their minds at that age, so they are going to really get a lot from being able to see various technologies in action. Give your children the history of STEM in present times, starting with radios and black and white televisions, going up through the 70s and 80s, and finally end with today.
Break Down Electronics into Parts and Components
Although electronics are expensive, at some point most of them reach the end of their lives. If you are like most people, you likely have an ‘electronics graveyard’ in your home somewhere. Work with your kids to take some of these electronics apart and discover how everything works. Point out the PCBs in your old laptop, show your child how motherboards work, and then put it all together again when you are done. Look at an Upverter PCB and your children will see how circuit boards work in all electronics. These hands-on activities are going to be a lot of fun for you and your child, and they will appreciate STEM subjects even more.
Show Your Kids How STEM Can Benefit Their Lives
One of the reasons that children can be resistant to learning is that they don’t see a connection to their everyday lives. While taking an algebra class, kids tend to whine and moan about quadratic equations not having any practical use in the present or the future. Parents can quite cleverly make everyday connections between STEM and their children’s lives by turning almost anything into an educational lesson. When cooking, show your kids all of the different measuring cups and spoons. Before driving the kids to the movies, lift up the hood of the car and show them the connection between the engine, motor, and dashboard display. STEM is everywhere, and you can help your children to appreciate it more.
Science, technology, engineering, and math makes the world go around, and the STEM world desperately needs more young minds to create new innovations. There is a huge shortage of women and minorities in the world of STEM. If your kid happens to fall into one or both of these categories, this could be even more incentive for them to become more engaged. Let your kids know that without new innovations in the world of STEM, there would be no cell phones, computers, tablets, videogames or even televisions for that matter. Perhaps your child could be the one to create a new electronic toy to be enjoyed by future generations of kids.