Just about every kid gets maths practice every day in a primary school setting. But what about their exposure to other STEM subjects? Class time spent on science depends entirely on where you live.
When you think about if and how often technology and engineering factor into science lessons, a primary school student’s exposure in school to STEM subjects during class time might be limited.
And that’s a shame, because the door of opportunity is wide open during the primary school years for kids to develop an interest in STEM subjects. The experiences they have in these years can spark the passion and give them the confidence to pursue a STEM career in the future. Here are a few more benefits.
- Developing interest. Hands-on experiments develop their confidence and it’s a great way to show the fun side of science and engineering.
- Cultivates citizen engagement. Learning about STEM subjects is a way to help kids understand the important role science plays in our world.
- It’s an opportunity to become familiar with scientific inquiry and how it’s applied to identifying and solving problems.
- STEM literacy: Learning now will enable kids to enter their secondary schools with a familiarity of STEM concepts. “Scientific knowledge is necessary to fully participate in human culture and democracy — especially as it becomes more technological. Our future depends on a scientifically literate public,” says the website STEM Teaching Tools.
The good news is even if your school hasn’t ramped up its science instruction, there are plenty of ideas and resources out there to help you keep your kids well dosed in STEM. Here’s a list to get you started. Start looking at the world with a STEM-is-everywhere mindset, and things will start falling into place.
Entertainment: When it’s time to sit down and watch something as a family, keep an eye out for documentaries and science fiction programmes. Science fiction shows (such as Netflix’s reboot of “Lost In Space,” which showcases a model STEM-driven family, if there ever was one) can be excellent launching points to inspire further exploration of science and technology.
Have a long car trip scheduled? “Brains On!” is a podcast from American Public Media that looks at the science of sneezing and other kid-relevant science topics in a way that puts a lot of fun in learning.
Finally, when it’s time to read together, don’t forget to pick up books from the library that explore science. Have you looked at the Nick and Tesla series? Each book is an action-packed mystery that gets solved using technology and science. Plus, each book in the series comes with a project that’s found in the book, so you can do it at home. You can look and buy here: Amazon.
For a list of ideas for kids ages 4-12, this blog on ReadBrightly, 15 Awesome STEM Books That Make Science and Technology Fun for Kids, is a must-read.
Explore and visit: When it’s time to plan outings, keep your eyes open to the many opportunities for kids to learn new things about their world. When traveling on a day trip or an extended vacation, get familiar with the offerings in town. Museums, whether they showcase STEM concepts or not, have a way of expanding minds and inspiring curiosity with the specialized perspective they bring to their visitors.
Make curiosity a family value: Whatever you’re doing, think of ways to get their minds going and be open to finding answers to their questions; scientific discovery starts with someone wanting to know the answers to something. How do people go upside down on roller coasters without falling out? How do you design a better water slide? How did the movie studio make the monster appear real?
Activity time: Kids are highly involved with sports, music and dance. But they can build their educational chops with enriching after-school activities. They give kids a chance to collaborate with kids outside of their classrooms and give kids a fun and interactive way to learn complex concepts they’ll be learning in school.
From building a speacialised themed model from LEGO Bricks to coding and, Bricks 4 Kidz provides the perfect space to let your primnary aged student learn and reinforce STEM concepts.
Find a Bricks 4 Kidz class or club in your area and sign up today.