How Parents Can Assist Students to Pursue STEM Interest at Home

Parents can help their children develop an interest in STEM

It is important that we send a message to our children that STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) are very important. A great way to encourage an interest in STEM education is to inspire kids at home. Parents play a crucial role in helping their children grow and learn. STEM learning environments help students develop problem-solving, communication, logic and collaboration skills. These skills are critical for learning and parents can encourage these skills through hands-on STEM oriented activities. If you have children, here are some helpful suggestions on how you can encourage your children in STEM learning.

  1. Set high expectations for children, encourage children to take challenging coursework, establish a home environment that fosters learning, and support children with homework and other academic pursuits.
  2. Talk to them about how important their science, technology, engineering and math classes are.
  3. Establish relationships with children’s teachers and work together to help children be successful in the classroom. Parents, students, and teachers should review student achievement data and projections regarding future performance to better understand children’s strengths and weaknesses.
  4. Encourage your child to watch science-oriented programs. Programs such as The Discovery Channel and PBS. The Discovery Channel has shows like Animal planet, Planet Earth, Mythbusters and more.
  5. Take your child on field trips to science museums. The Hands on Regional Museum is a great place to give your kids an interactive lesson on dinosaurs. The Gray Fossil Site and Museum is also a wonderful place to introduce your child to fossils of different animals that lived long ago! The Bays Mountain Park and Planetarium also offers a unique experience with a variety of animals in the nature preserve and an amazing planetarium theater.
  6. Encourage math at home by using a 6-sided dice to practice multiplication or addition and subtraction; cook with your kids and teach them how to follow a recipe to help reinforce fractions and measurements; play battleship to practice finding graph coordinates. There are many household games that can encourage math thinking like cards, monopoly, puzzles and so on. 
  7. Take advantage of the things your kid likes to do, like playing on the computer. Encourage your child to check out websites such as Smithsonian Kids, Sid the Science Kid, and UK Science Museum. These websites provide science and math related activities to enhance your child’s desire for a STEM education.
  8. Take your child on a nature walk and bring books about birds and plants. Work with your kids to try and identify different species of animals and plants as you walk around. This will help introduce scientific names of common plants and animals. These are general ideas on how to engage your child through STEM learning. If you as a parent show interest in these topics your child will follow. There are many more activities out there that can encourage STEM thinking such as building models of cars or planes and more. Try and bring these activities into your home and feel free to contact us with further questions or suggestions for STEM activities.

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