The future is in STEM, at least according to the US Department of Commerce. The STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) grow faster than any other sector and promise higher paying jobs. So why is this important to an elementary schooler? Well, instilling a love for STEM in your child will inevitably lead them to a career in STEM.
However, teaching an elementary schooler to love STEM (and not resent the subject) can be a bit difficult for parents. So here’s a list of 5 tips for introducing your elementary schooler to STEM.
No child (or adult) will ever become an astrophysicist overnight. When you begin the process of introducing your student to STEM take small steps. Allowing a child sufficient time to absorb the STEM material will make them feel less overwhelmed.
STEM is such a diverse field that can service a wide variety of interests. Say your student loves bugs- focus on learning about bugs. Children respond better to learning about things that they like, so be sure to listen and respond to your student’s interests.
A plethora of science education literature shows that hands-on projects are an amazing resource. For example, if your student is learning about phase changes, demonstrate sublimation to them by putting an ice cube on a hot frying pan. Participating in fun hands-on projects with your student will surely get them excited about STEM.
One of the biggest mistakes that I have seen in my career as a tutor is parents overpressuring their children. Pressure can increase anxiety, which ultimately diminishes outcomes. Of course some pressure can be appropriate, but try not to stress your student out, it will only make them learn to dislike the STEM.
A good teacher can make all the difference for a student. If you can, find motivated and engaging teachers for your elementary schooler. And if you feel like the teachers at your child’s school are lacking, Inizian is full of fantastic teachers who want to help your child.