I think we can all agree that technology is the way of the future. There are new devices, ways of interacting and new platforms that are increasingly sorting our lifestyles. So then if it’s the way of the future, shouldn’t it be something students should be interested in? Perhaps it may be a possible pathway for their future or just a genuine interest. Whatever it may be, why not encourage them to find out?
STEM is an acronym for a series of subjects focused on the technology and science-based side of things. The acronym is broken down to represent Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Embracing and encouraging a passion in these areas indicates the idea that in developing a personal interest, potential success and career opportunities may come of it. Some ways to foster this passion are as follows:
- Bring in the toys. Whatever the toy (Lego is always a favourite) it allows students to immerse themselves in all things STEM. With these types of toys, students must follow certain instructions to create a specific shape and end results whilst working with different shapes and sizes along the way. These types of activities bring in ideas of architecture, measurement, ensuring structural stability and more.
- We’re sorry, but we’re also not … let them play video games. Yes, they may be overlooked for their recreational appeal and at first glance may seem a little trivial and not very educational, but video games can be useful as educational tools and successfully illustrate difficult scientific concepts. Watching things play out on a screen introduces representations of physics where ideas of aerodynamic come into play.
- Bring Science Home! You may not have Bunsen burners at home but that doesn’t mean you can’t put eggs in a shoe-box and determine the damage after dropping them from different heights. So good news is, science can be brought home. Things may get messy, but that’s part of the fun, right? Many experiments and projects often use household items anyway, so have a look around and see what you and your student can scrounge up.
- Museums and Educational Sites. Places like museums and aquariums allow for students to have a hands-on look at the scientific world around them. Some of these facilities even offer interactive exhibits and activities for students to apply those applications and bring what’s learnt in the classroom outside.
Encouraging students to participate in STEM activities brings about the academic connections and applications of the real world to the classroom and vice versa. As a possible way of the future, why not have students explore that?