STEM learning helps children develop skills that prepare them for life in the real world, so how they experience their STEM education is important. For students to have the best experience with STEM subject matter and to encourage their enthusiasm for learning, it’s essential to make STEM engaging and interesting. Here are tips for helping students get excited about STEM learning so they can enjoy the benefits — and the fun! — of STEM education.
Go Beyond The Classroom
While valuable learning happens in traditional classroom formats, some of the best STEM learning happens away from students’ desks. Hands-on projects, where students can explore STEM subject matter outside of classroom confines, can be novel and get students excited about STEM learning!
At STEMful, we provide various learning environments where our students can explore different STEM concepts in real-life. Students in our Afterschool Programs enjoy learning about STEM concepts through various stations we set up in our studio. Students in several of our Summer Camps adventure on field trips to the California Academy of Science or the Randall Museum of Science, Nature, and The Arts!
If you’re interested in helping your children get excited about STEM at home, consider exploring their interests at local destinations. For example, students interested in animal science might enjoy asking zookeepers questions while your family visits the zoo. Or, children interested in plant life and botany might get a thrill out of collecting and studying different leaves and flowers on your family’s next camping trip.
Learning in new locations and surroundings can be just what children need to get excited about STEM!
Tie STEM to Activities Children Enjoy
We see and interact with STEM concepts daily, just as we go about our lives. When you can help children see that their favorite activities, hobbies, and pastimes are often linked to different STEM subjects they’ll discover that STEM topics are interesting and can be a blast to learn about!
Children who like to paint and create with colors, for example, might be fascinated by how chemical reactions can make different colored substances react to each other. Or, students who like participating in sports could take an interest in sports medicine and how professionals treat sport-related injuries.
The more you see how many ways STEM concepts tie to children’s interests and activities, the easier it will become to get them excited about STEM learning.
Help Students Embrace Processes
One of the most important pillars of learning STEM-based education at STEMful is learning that the process is just as important as the outcome. When children find that they can learn just as much from an unplanned outcome or making discoveries as “failures” happen, they become much more engaged and confident about their abilities.
Something we do at STEMful to help children get excited about STEM is provide open-ended learning opportunities. With this type of learning, students have the freedom to explore, discover, err, and try again. Children learn that success isn’t necessarily about achieving a specific outcome or result but experiencing the process along the way.
Students who come to our Community Play Space, for example, might discover the different building sets we have available. Of course, they might not build something perfectly on their first try. But examining their approach, identifying what they want to change and do differently, and then completing their project will be an extremely valuable process.
When children see that it’s okay for things not to go the way they hope and that trying again is okay (and a good thing!), they’ll be much more excited to try new things and dive into the world of STEM subjects.
Introduce Children to STEM Leaders
A lot of the characters children take an interest in, maybe even develop fascination about, are from their favorite shows, movies, and comic books. But, there are plenty of characters and people in a student’s universe with STEM careers or who make/have made important STEM contributions to society.
The next time you’re reading a book with your children, or watching a favorite TV show, point out and talk about characters with STEM careers. Talk about what they do and what qualities they might have as STEM professionals. Doctors, engineers, mechanics, and scientists are curious about learning and problem-solving with their STEM experience and education.
You might also talk about friends or family members with STEM-related jobs and hobbies. This will give your children real-life examples of STEM leaders for them to look up to. Then, perhaps they’ll become excited about picturing themselves in STEM-related careers and roles in the future!
Give Your Children Unforgettable STEM Experiences
Help your children develop a passion for STEM and get excited about learning with STEMful! Our Afterschool Programs, Community Play, School Break Camps, and other programs provide wonderful opportunities to discover STEM while having fun. Learn more about upcoming enrollment opportunities on our Programs page, and help your children start getting excited about STEM learning!