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How to Use Technology to Get Kids Interested in STEM
Schools are focusing on STEM fields – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics – more than ever before. The emphasis is highly justifiable, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics has described STEM careers as the “jobs of tomorrow” and one report has stated that “more than 65% of students will work in jobs that don’t even exist today.” It is widely accepted that the majority of these jobs will be in one of the four fields of STEM. How can a child aspire to a career that they don’t know exists? That’s where great teachers come in.
Teachers play a crucial role in the development of the next generation of developers, creators, thinkers, doers, and inventors. By instilling STEM lessons into curriculum early on, a foundation for a lifelong love of science, tech, education, and math is created.
It is important to remember, however, that teachers can’t do it all on their own–a comprehensive support system is required to help their efforts persist throughout the student’s life. By employing technology in and outside of the classroom, teachers, parents, and school administrators can work together to integrate STEM learnings into an authentic learning experience. Google is a topic that has been widely covered here on this blog and can be applied to engaging STEM activities as well.
Getting kids interested in STEM may seem like a daunting task for educators and parents alike. Let’s explore the different ways that technology can assist in getting kids interested in STEM:
Getting kids interested in S, Science
Kids are curious by nature. They spark their interest in science at an early age. As educators and parents, new technologies can show little techies how far-reaching science actually is. Technology has the power to bring science to life!
NASA Visualization Explorer
Space has always been a fascinating topic, especially to curious young learners. The NASA Visualization Explorer is the portal to the coolest stories about NASA exploration. With the explorer tool, kids can hold science in their hands and have a front row seat to exploring the mysteries of the universe.
Google Science Fair
Google holds an annual global science fair. It is an opportunity for kids to gain a new appreciation of science while also sharpening their critical thinking and communication skills. Science fairs are a great way to tap into a child’s natural interest and to engage them in topics they may have never discovered. Read the inspirational stories of students all over the world who have entered and won!
Getting kids interested in T, Technology
In many ways, there is already a demonstrated interest in technology among kids in the modern world. Despite this, there is still enormous potential for children to take an interest in the more practical aspects of technology such as computer programming and coding exercises. Here are just a few innovative ways to get kids invested in the more fundamental aspects of technology.
Made with Code
Made with Code is a Google application that tailors coding projects to very specific student interests. lets students be the drivers. Students can take on projects ranging from using code to becoming their own DJ to channeling their inner fashionista by designing a dress. Made with Code is the perfect way to peak student interest in technology and computer programming because it effortlessly engages them in topics they are passionate about.
Getting kids interested in E, Engineering
Kids may have a misunderstanding of what engineering is or what engineers do. Many kids when asked will say that they think engineers drive trains or build structures. The idea behind getting kids interested in engineering early is to allow them to envision themselves as the engineers of the future.
Engineering for Kids
Engineering for Kids is designed to engage elementary students in engineering through classes, camps, and even birthday parties. Founded by a teacher who found a need to have a more engaged learning experience in engineering. At Engineering for Kids, kids build and create things, inspiring the engineers of tomorrow. They are exposed to robotics, they make slime and bubbles, and learn chemical engineering processes while doing it. Visit their website to find a program near you!
The Robot Factory by Tinybop
It’s no secret that kids love to create and build things. The Robot Factory engages kids in engineering topics by taking children’s love of robots and sparks their imagination. Children mix and match 50+ unique parts, experiment with designs, to build their dream robot.
Getting kids interested in M, Math
Contrary to popular belief, many young students actually love numbers and are eager to learn about math. Unfortunately, many kids and parents alike see math as a dreaded subject that isn’t fun. When tackling math problems, children either get overwhelmed, frustrated or bored. By utilizing tech to get kids interested in math, it provides hands-on engaging lessons that make math fun. Students can realize their full math potential with the help of these tools:
Leverage all the tools that Google has to offer and harness the power of Google as a complementary resource. Expand young learners use of Google Docs beyond just word processing by integrating these four google add-on for math instruction: g(math), calculator, WizKids CAS, and formula editor.
Bring math to life with DragonBox. Learning through play is a natural way for children to explore the world around them. DragonBox secretly teaches algebra to elementary students by incorporating video games and gamification. It makes learning math and difficult concepts easier and most importantly, fun.
Learning math should not stop in the classroom. Bedtime Math provides parents with a daily math problem to solve with their child. Its mission is to help kids learn to love numbers and only takes about 5 minutes a day. Reinforcing the topics kids are learning in school and creating a learning-positive atmosphere at home will help produce lifelong learners.You can download it in the App Store for your Chromebook.