HOW TO START STEM EDUCATION AT HOME
What is STEM Education?
STEM is a learning approach that integrates the area of science, technology, engineering and math. It enhances various skills like critical thinking and collaboration. STEM learners practice vital science experiments, basic electronics like building a circuit, coding and other fun activities for kids.
STEM education enables students to induce test ideas, take risks, dare to be wrong, hear alternative opinions. It helps students solve a number of the world’s greatest challenges. International research evidence states that 75% of the fastest-growing occupation requires STEM skills.
STEM education provides great job opportunities as well. Department of comers states that STEM degree holders tend to earn more than any other field. There is no guarantee for non-STEM graduates to get hired after receiving their degree, but students with STEM education have nearly endless job opportunities. The annual job salary for all the stem careers in 2017 was $87,570, as compared to the national average of $345.700 for all non-STEM positions.
STEM Vs STEAM:
STEM Education teaches the scientific method and the engineering design process whereas STEAM Education teaches the scientific method, the engineering design process, along with the creative process. The reason for adding A (stands for Arts) in STEM is to encourage arts in real situations. STEM and STEAM both promote the 4C stream which stands for collaboration, creativity, communication, and critical thinking.
Benefits of STEM Education:
⦁ Encourage teamwork
STEM education enables students of different levels to work together as a team and find solutions to problems, give presentations, and do research. Teamwork help children with decision making, clarification, build communication skills, and developed cooperation skills. Teamwork skills enable successful people to perform better from their projects with their boss to their relationships with partners and co-workers.
⦁ Develop problem-solving and critical thinking:
STEM learning teaches your child to think critically and solve various problems. It builds problem-solving skills. Learning new technical thinking is very challenging for students, but this will increase their critical thinking and enhance their problem-solving skills. Critical thinking is one of the common skills of successful people to solve their problems creatively. The skill of problem-solving and critical thinking will help ease your kid’s life.
⦁ Meaningful Collaboration:
STEM learning is highly collaborative where they grasp information quickly and learn to compromise, cooperate, communicate effectively, and share information and responsibility.
Collaboration prepares students for social life.
⦁ Build leadership and confidence:
When students start working in teams, they start developing leadership skills. STEM education always favors teamwork and collaboration. This will boost the child’s confidence and prepare him/her for future life.
How can parents start STEM education at home?
Ample research evidence states that many parents want to support their children in STEM education because STEM will open great career opportunities for their kids. Your kids are naturally curious and observe the world; they need you to answer their questions.
You can easily let your kids get involved with STEM through everyday activities like cooking, gardening, easy science experiments, cool science projects, or playing with LEGO and construction toys. If you look around you will find STEM everywhere in your home.
In the kitchen, your kids can also learn about chemistry and Mathematics by helping them measure the quantity of flour or sugar, asking them how water turns into ice, and much more. You can ask your children about the everyday occurrence in the kitchen like why the stove burns or why the water boils.
Here are a few ways to get started for your child’s STEM education at home:
Fun activities for kids:
Assign your kids a few fun projects to do at home like gardening. Gardening will make your young children learn very basic science concepts. They will learn about different types of plants, which will give your child a strong foundation. Discussing gardening tools is a great way to enhance your child’s technical skills. Engage children in Kitchen and help them cook their favorite dishes. Ask them simple questions like why food spoils? Or why your metal pan gets hot on the stove? This will build your kid’s interest as kids are naturally curious and they will tend to explore and ask more questions.
You can find lots of fun activities online for your kids. STEM works activities are a large and free online resource for kids learning STEM. It provides engaging activities for kids and is a great resource for parents and teachers too.
STEM works activities: https://www.congressionalappchallenge.us/
In order to start STEM education at home you need to introduce easy science projects to kids. You can find a variety of science project ideas on the internet. Some of the cool science projects include building a cloud in a jar, magnetic slime, sticky note number match, making a mini model of the water cycle, make one orange sink and other one float, and many others.
Funology is another great website for your kids to practice STEM activities for free, The experiment section is kid’s most favorite part, where experiments can be performed by very less materials at home. This website is great for your kids to polish their STEM education.
Build a circuit:
If you are willing to start STEM education at home then there are a number of activities to do with kids which include electronic circuits. You can help your children build a simple electronic circuit which will allow them to further learn about basic electronics.
Robotics for kids:
Robotics for kids is an easy and fun way to learn STEM concepts. STEM education always makes use of Robotics for your kid’s better learning. It’s been observed that when kids are exposed to robots they master basic robotics and programming skills at a very age.
Expose children to programming language:
Coding is an essential part of STEM education. An organization such as Code.org offers great opportunities to learn to code for kids. Help your kids learn scratch coding but exposing them to robots. ScratchJr is perfect for kids to learn scratch coding
Let kids fix stuff around the house:
Enhance kid’s knowledge of tools and machines by helping them fix simple home stuff. Kids can use paper glue, sandpaper, wrenches, screwdrivers, scissors, pliers, and much more. Kids can remove hardware from wires. The best things kids can fix are the things they care about like their favorite broken toy. Let them hang pictures on the wall, put them on the paint job, or Fix squeaky door hinges. This will create interest in kids and they will tend to explore more about tools and other technologies.
Tie kids to topics that fascinate them:
Kids are really excited about cars and planes. Challenge kids to think about why cars accelerate and how planes fly. Make them think why man flies on the moon. This will make them more curious and they will start researching and asking questions.
All parents need to do is encourage their kids to see themselves as creative problem solvers and critical thinkers and ultimately they have to give them hands-on projects and enable them to exercise their creativity and hopefully enable them to tackle their lives. You can do all this by starting STEM education at home.