It can be challenging to find students who are interested in pursuing higher educational opportunities, and ultimately employment, in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) subjects. One way to increase a person’s likelihood of working towards one of these careers is to get them interested in the subject young. So, how do you introduce such complex subjects to children without everything going over their head? By catering the conversation to the individual child.
If you aren’t sure how to start these conversations with your children, consider these tips to get things moving.
Many people don’t notice how much STEM subjects play into our everyday lives. Everything from the food we eat, the televisions we watch, the buildings we live in, and the cars we drive have aspects of multiple STEM subjects involved. So, with that in mind, consider how these subjects enter your normal activities and use them to start a conversation.
For example, you can ask you child questions to get an idea of what they believe is going on. For example, a simple inquiry about where they think their lunch comes from or what they imagine helps an airplane fly can provide a remarkable amount of insight. Then, you can build on their ideas to help them learn. In some cases, creating an experiment may also be appropriate.
Feel free to test the waters in a variety of STEM areas. If something strikes a chord with your child, then take the time to delve deeper.
If your child is in elementary school, then the topics covered by works provided through Dove Press are likely beyond their understanding, but there are some great children’s books that can give them a basic understanding of many STEM topics. Large scale online retailers often carry numerous books on science experiments and similar topics for children, as well as book retailers.
For those looking for lower cost options, consider checking out your local library. They may have entire sections dedicated to non-fiction works for children, allowing you to find titles about any STEM subject that may catch their eye.
While most people don’t attach television to education, there are a variety of shows that can increase your child’s interest in STEM subjects by keeping things at a proper level based on their age. Some stations have added educational programming to their Saturday morning lineup, giving a quality alternative to the traditional cartoons, and most of these episodes have been designed with children in mind. That means they will contain information designed to interest them without some of the material that is included in versions geared towards adults.
By making what is traditionally seen as entertainment educational, you can spark an interest that may have otherwise been missed. Additionally, you can observe how they react to different shows to help determine which subject may be of the most interest. Then, you can nurture that interest further with trips to applicable museums, zoos, aquariums, or other educational destinations.
The most important part of encouraging people to pursue STEM careers is to get them interested in the subject early. While this can take some planning, it isn’t necessarily difficult. Just see how the subjects are involved in your daily life, and take it from there.