STEM education requires a more subjective approach. Instead of focusing on what is right and wrong, focus more on how your kids approach a situation or problem.
Show children the value of questioning everything they hear. Even “unanswerable” questions are valuable. Please encourage them to raise questions and find answers. This will boost their curiosity and self-discovery process.
In the conventional way of teaching in schools, children’s knowledge of a particular subject is measured by the marks they score in their exams. This might not be the best way of learning, especially when it comes to STEM education.
To get your kids interested in STEM, you will need to be less intrusive and give only passive guidelines – instead of instructions – to allow kids to investigate and experiment. Appreciate the effort they take to learn about a new topic and understand a problem instead of obsessing over the correctness or incorrectness of their results. We all know how Edison failed 10,000 times before he was able to perfect the unassuming light bulb!
Valuing kids’ efforts instils a healthy balance between you’re their EQ (Emotional Quotient), IQ (Intelligence Quotient) and PQ (Physical & Psychological Quotient).
Show Them the Relevance of STEM in Everyday Life
One of the reasons that most kids grow up disliking STEM subjects is because conventional teaching methods fail to show their real-life applications. No one wants to learn something that they won’t ever need (hello, History!) and more so when it comes to complex topics like mathematics, biology and chemistry.
By showing everyday applications and relating daily activities with STEM, you can help kids grow fond of math and science. How can you do this?
- Ask kids to mentally add the total price of things you bought in a supermarket.
- Can they identify all the patterns they see in the room?
- Tell them how a vacuum cleaner works as you let them clean the carpet (google it yourself first!)
Following such practices in the formative years of your child increases their interest in STEM subjects and inculcates strong problem-solving, analytical, and critical thinking skills.
We enrol our children in classes for dance, music, cricket, and whatnot, but when it comes to STEM education, most of us rely only on schools. This must change. Getting kids interested in science and technology is important given the rapid pace of innovation today. Knowledge of how things around them work plays a critical role in their overall development.
In a TED talk titled How Math Is Our Real Sixth Sense, Eddie Woo said, “Mathematics is a sense just like sight and touch; it's a sense that allows us to perceive realities which would be otherwise intangible to us.”
Couldn’t agree more, could we?