Talking To Your Child About STEM – 5 suggestions … by Tola Salau


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Talking To Your Child About STEM – 5 suggestions to get the ball rolling To Get Started.

Learning is not the product of teaching. Learning is the product of the activity of learners. – John Holt.

Just recently I was asked by a TV host on a talk-show about how we talk to our children about STEM education. That day, a light bulb went off in my head. I’d always taken it for granted that most parents did as mine did, and I know I do the same with my son. We discussed the relevance of STEM for the future and it’s applications to daily life. That day as we discussed on air, it hit me that it was difficult for other parents for myriad of reasons. Some don’t want to scare them about the future, especially if the children struggle in STEM subjects at school.

The reality is that it is crucial that we have these conversations with them to expose them to the importance of STEM skills as well as spark their interest in STEM fields.

1. Start with explaining what STEM is – First things first, tell your child what STEM is. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.

Then point them towards applications in the real world. Say; “Did you know that your favorite gadgets like cell phones, tablets, and video games were created by computer scientists and engineers? We need more people like you to invent things to help people in the future. Making sure that you have STEM skills now will enable you solve problems for people in the future.” Key point: If your child is having a hard time with STEM because they are struggling with a particular subject, encourage them and remind them that they don’t need to master everything. Engage them with what their interests are and what makes them feel confident. Find out what problems that triggers their interest, and something they’d desire to solve in the future.

2. Make STEM relevant in the real-world

STEM fields are much more than conducting experiments and building bridges. STEM translates to almost any career they will come across in their lifetime. Fashion involves material science, engineering, geometry, math and even technology. Sales involves data literacy, math, psychology, and systems science. When you dig deep into any career with your child, STEM will be sure to pop up through a brainstorm – give it a shot!

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