While Why Science is a technology based STEM education company our approach to education is not entirely based on technology. In fact going beyond technology, we firmly believe that good communication is critical.
Communication needs to happen in the classroom, but we also feel it is important that communication happens in the home.
Of course at home there are some natural barriers that can be obstacles when it comes to reinforcing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) subjects as often times parents do not have a background in these subjects. In fact, let’s be honest – some parents are intimidated by STEM, and they themselves might not have the fondest memories of what it was like to learn these subjects when they were kids.
While being provided access to specific resources can always be a help, at Why Science we also like to feature broader methods that parents can use to help come up with some creative ways to foster a rich and meaningful dialogue around core STEM areas.
What we like about the below two ideas is that neither of them are reliant on a parent being an expert in a STEM subject in order for there to be a meaningful exchange.
The Dinner Table:
While we all recognize that life can be busy, hectic and even at time overwhelming no matter what your perspective, a great place to talk about your children are doing in the classroom is over the dinner table (or before bed, or even in the car). STEM subjects in particular can be a great to talk about because this is likely an area that you as the parent know a bit less about so by hearing your children talk about what they are doing in the science classroom, your child is also able to assume a “leadership” role in this conversation which in turn is a great way to further reinforce their own enthusiasm and to boost their confidence.
Also, by you as the parent expressing specific interest in some of the STEM subjects through your own questions, you are also providing your children with an added validation in terms of how important STEM subjects are.
In Front of the Computer:
Another fun idea which is a little more interactive might be to learn from your children or to find out directly through their teacher what the curriculum is, and in particular when applied to STEM areas there is a nice opportunity to head over to Google and do some further research together.
What can be so great about this particular exercise is that you are not only participating in a STEM focused activity with your child, but you are also reinforcing the basic principle of curiosity – as we all know, the drive to answer the questions of curious minds has allowed so many of us to make critical life altering breakthroughs in our own lives and also in field of science in general.
In addition, you and your children will likely make some very interesting discoveries that will be a nice complement to what they have already learned in the classroom.
What is so nice about the above ideas is that neither of them are focused on you as the parent being the “expert” but rather the above ideas really empower your children to shine.
In addition, while communication is a wonderful way to foster enthusiasm, with a strong channel of communication opened up between yourself and your children, you as a parent will be much more able to effectively communicate with your children’s educators which will have a lasting impact on the overall education that your child receives.
So again, make sure to take the time to talk STEM at the home. Whether at the dinner table, in front of a computer, or even before putting your children down for the night, being present and letting your children know that you are very invested in their education has a substantial impact on how well and how seriously they approach their own education.