STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. These four subjects play crucial roles in your child’s academic journey as they help to form a strong foundation of life skills, such as the ability to solve problems, work as part of a team and think critically. STEM subjects are also essential for the younger generation because the future of key industries demands it. Many jobs require graduates with STEM-based qualifications, including things like healthcare and astronomy.
There’s no time like the present to begin exploring STEM subjects with your child. Of course, the majority of schools integrate STEM subjects naturally into their curriculum, in order to help pupils develop an interest in these areas from an early age. Parents can help to harness this interest further at home with many entertaining and interactive activities. Here are a range of examples offered by a private school just north of London.
There are lots of lessons to learn through water play, especially if your child is still in primary school. Fill up the bath or a bucket and gather up some materials, like paper, a sponge, a water bottle etc. Ask your child what they think will happen to the item when it is placed in the water and see if they are correct. Some items will float, some will sink and others will soak up the water and become soggy.
Believe it or not, board games are actually fairly educational. They encourage children to calculate basic mathematical sums, like how much money they have to pay their opponent. What’s more, board games teach children various other skills, from problem solving to patience.
Baking a cake or cooking a meal involves a range of skills, including reading instructions to calculating measurements and oven times. Discuss what happens to a cake when it is placed in an oven and find out why it cannot be reversed back to its gloopy, uncooked version.
There are so many lessons to be learned in the great outdoors. Take a walk through the woods and talk to your child about the different trees and wildlife you spot on route. Ask them what they think will happen to the environment as the seasons change. If you have a garden you could consider planting a vegetable patch with your child so that they can learn about how plants grow.
Kids are instinctively more inquisitive than adults and they usually enjoy experimentation. They tend to ask lots of questions to figure out how the world works. You can help to stimulate your child’s curiosity by setting up some safe science experiments at home. Don’t panic, you don’t need any fancy chemicals or test tubes; you can put together a fun little science experiment in no time at all, using simple items you have in your kitchen cupboards, such as washing up liquid, food colouring and bicarbonate of soda.