Did you know that the United States ranks 29th in math literacy falling behind Finland, Croatia, the Czech Republic, and Liechtenstein even though it ranks top in technological innovation? Due to a sharp decline in the quality of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics education in the United States, students have been forced to move away from STEM and America has had to outsource most of its STEM related jobs offshore. The White House has showed its concern towards this alarming trend and sanctioned a decent funding to support the cause. To contribute to the nation’s outlook and support its future plans, parents and caregivers must play a significant role in school and at home in imparting STEM education to children. So what are the steps that they can take in order to get students interested in STEM and pursue them for higher studies within the United States?
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Understand your child’s knack
Try to understand your child’s academic aptitude. It is important to understand if your child has a natural knack towards sciences or another discipline in order to guide her in the right direction. The fact that different subjects exercise different parts of the brain helps us to understand why each child’s learning curve is not the same. The time taken for each child to adapt to each subject will vary. So it is extremely important for a parent to understand the child’s learning tendencies, strengths and weaknesses and support her through the process.
Set up a healthy PQ
A healthy physical and physiological quotient set the platform to boost a child’s intelligence quotient. It will be difficult for children to focus, concentrate, and learn if they are kept hungry or tired. Similarly an emotionally deprived child will also not be able to learn well and comprehend any difficult situation around her. Support your child physically and emotionally for her to explore her options with a healthy balance among your child’s IQ, EQ and PQ.
Create a science-conducive environment outside of school
Here are a few tips to achieve a science-conducive environment at home:
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- Watch science shows on television with your child. If you happen to watch an experiment or a science activity on the show, think of ways it can be done at home. Do the experiment or the activity together with the child.
- Have children solve plenty of scientific method worksheets. Scientific method worksheets are based on the five steps of the scientific method that encourage a child to think along a linear path – asking question, stating a hypothesis, conducting a science experiment, analyzing the results, and making a conclusion. Sharpen kids’ problem solving skills with quality scientific method worksheets that are easily available online.
- Organize a sleepover for your child’s friends and have them perform safe science experiments in groups.
- Join science and nature clubs. Become members of local science museums and stay informed of science events for kids.
Point out daily applications of science
Bridging the gap between daily life and science is a good way to get the kids interested in the discipline. Point out science’s daily applications and help them understand how science and technology make simple things happen around us, like electricity, internet, cars and planes, elevators, etc. Explain how life was before these inventions for them to understand how blessed we are to have advanced in science the way we have. There are quite a few scientific method worksheets online too that prod students to study a particular discovery and relate it to our daily lives along the lines of scientific method. Look out for such scientific method worksheets that will extend the lessons at home into worksheets.