“STEM Education Is the Key to the U.S.’s Economic Future” is what you read about all the time. U.S. News and World Report says:
We need to encourage more students to pursue science, technology, engineering, and math.
And what about girls and STEM? President Barack Obama has something to say about that (as a father of two girls, he carries some weight!):
“One of the things that I really strongly believe in is that we need to have more girls interested in math, science, and engineering. We’ve got half the population that is way underrepresented in those fields and that means that we’ve got a whole bunch of talent…not being encouraged the way they need to.”
— President Barack Obama, February 2013
But, as a parent, how do you do that? I think two things are critical:
- You have to get kids interested in STEM before they “opt out” because they think they are “bad at it.”
- Finding ways to connect STEM to their innate interests hooks them in.
The DOING is what is important, and the message that FAILURE is the work of being a scientist. Thomas Edison said it best, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
There are also leadership opportunities in STEM. Being a scientist means taking charge. Deciding how to run the experiment, and how to proceed when faced with failure. Getting team members on board and allocating the work if working in a group also is real-life leadership training that translates into a marketable skill.
To promote leadership in STEM, 4-H launched their Grow True Leaders Campaign, which aims to address America’s need for well-equipped youth that are prepared to step into leadership roles. 4-H believes that every child has the potential to be a true leader, but need to be taught the life skills and given opportunities to be such.
As part of this campaign, 4-H is recruiting parents and others that play a role in raising children to create a movement that recognizes youth leaders in communities across the country. This will be done via “Shout Outs” with the hashtag #TrueLeaders and by joining 4-H’s ThunderClap.
As summer nears, get your kids hooked on STEM with a DIY Summer Camp to WATCH, LEARN, and DO! Each of these STEM projects involve: watching a short video, learning about the topic, and then doing a STEM activity. I hope your kids find a project here that hooks them on STEM!
Not in the mood to DO? Just want to let your kids WATCH and LEARN to see what hooks them?
Best Fun and Educational Videos for Kids (with matching book)
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of 4-H. The opinions and text are all mine.
More ideas for STEM and STEAM fun from great bloggers collected on my Pinterest boards: