TH- November 8 is National STEM/STEAM Day. The day is an opportunity to focus on helping kids advance in the fields of science, technology, engineering, art, and math. Creating understanding around STEM and STEAM is a big topic of conversation today. The need for STEM oriented job skills are skyrocketing. STEM/STEAM education can best prepare students for the future when using a curriculum with an interdisciplinary and applied approach, focusing, where possible, on real-world problems and pushing for innovative student-led solutions. Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education is becoming more and more important – and with good reason. These are necessary skills in today’s tech-savvy world, and they represent a pathway to some of the most in-demand jobs that our economy has to offer. How can you help encourage (or spark) an interest in these fields with your child? You don’t have to be a rocket scientist, surgeon, or coding guru to do it! Engage your child in STEM learning outside of the classroom.
Give educational programming a try. TV and movie time doesn’t have to be mindless—there is plenty of entertaining programming out there that is strongly related to STEM fields and educational in the process. So, the next time you and your child are browsing Netflix together, give the “documentaries” section a look. Long-running programs like the History Channel’s Modern Marvels, PBS’ NOVA, and the Discovery Channel’s Planet Earth are tried-and-true favorites with hundreds of episodes covering a variety of topics, such as civil engineering, space exploration, and evolution. If those shows are a little too much to hold your child’s interest, there are also plenty of kids’ and primetime television shows that have more of a STEM theme than you may expect. Sid the Science Kid is a great option to spur a science interest in early learners, while shows like CSI or Numb3rs, both of which focus on real-world applications of forensic science and math to solve crimes, can spark an interest for older students.