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How to get your kids close to STEM?

STEM can provide your kids with problem-solving skills, persistence, creativity, and intellectual curiosity. So here's how you can get them close to it.

Boy doing experiments.

Boy doing experiments. / Photo: Pixabay - Reference image

The Woman Post | Luisa Fernanda Báez Toro

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Leer en español: ¿Cómo acercar a tus hijos a la educación STEM?

Kids are naturally curious about stuff and by the age of two, they will be wondering how the world works. 

Today, more and more employers are seeking workers skilled in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. 

However, as read on Code like a Girl, this industry is highly dominated by men and education at an early age is key to ensure everyone is represented in the future. 

As read on Hechinger Report, The Center for Childhood Creativity says that children are capable of understanding STEM concepts when they are less than a year old. 

STEM can provide your kids with problem-solving skills, persistence, creativity, and intellectual curiosity. So how can you get your kids close to STEM? 

Also read: Women, STEM careers are what you should opt for

1. Let them solve problems: according to code like a girl, by encouraging your kids to come up with creative solutions to everyday problems, you are giving them plenty of opportunities to discover things on their own. 

2. Select games smarter: according to Engineering for Kids, there are plenty of games on the market related to STEM. LEGOs and DIY robot sets are just some of the options for both fun and educational games that will help your kid develop a love for STEM in the future.

3. Ask “why,” “what” and “how” questions as much as possible to push children to explain their thinking, says the Hechinger Report. 

4. As read on Euroscientist, there are four different types of games that can help boost your child’s science skills: pretend play, in which they use their imagination; exploratory play, in which your kid experiments with different things; guided play, in which you interact with your children and free play, in which no adult is involved. Let them try all options. 

5. When it comes to girls, be supportive: as read on Code like a Girl, 74% of middle school-aged girls show interest in the STEM field, but only 0.3% pursue these interests in later life. Try to introduce your kid to female role models in the engineering, science, math, and technology field at an early age. 

6. Pretend play with monetary value: for example, pretend that your kid is a cashier and you are a customer. Give things a price and let your kid sell stuff to you and give you change. Introducing maths at an early age is key. 

7. Play outdoors: teach your kids about the wonders that can be found outside of the house. Kids love to explore and there are plenty of natural materials they can learn about.

And remember that even if your kid does not choose to pursue a STEM career, skills like problem solving and creativity are useful in every aspect of our lives. 

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