5 Ways to Bring Stem into Everyday Life
STEM classes are on the rise, but what about bringing it into the classroom? STEM & STEAM toys are a great option, but you can just do so many ‘lessons’ right in your kitchen or living room, too. Today I’m working with Sylvan Learning to share these ideas. The best part- these things are FUN!
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WHAT IS STEM?
STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. Most of us use STEM activities daily, but it has become a wonderful addition to many curriculums. Schools are integrating these concepts, linked together, into their lessons and the outcome has been a positive one.
I was just reading a study that said that STEM jobs are projected to grow by over a million jobs every year. Teaching STEM-based lessons in school helps integrate real-world scenarios into the classroom. It may be done with technology, experiments, or with hands-on experiences. The best part is that you can bring STEM into your child’s everyday life.
As a partner of Sylvan Learning, I was excited to see that they offer many courses, sessions, and camps that are based on STEM activities. Sylvan Learning as a way to increase your child’s proficiency in these areas while mastering challenging concepts in a fun way.
How to Bring STEM Into Everyday Life:
I love to bake with our kids. When we bake, we are constantly using math. We are using measuring cups, we are adding and subtracting, we are calculating and we are watching things change forms. While baking is fun and is certainly one of my favorite hobbies, I can also appreciate the fact that there is a lot of math and science that goes into baking. First, you will have to predict how it will turn out and how to handle problems in the kitchen (like being low on a certain ingredient). Then, if (and when) a problem arises, like, if the bread doesn’t rise properly, you need to find the reason. How can you adjust what you’ve done to make the outcome better next time? These all lead to STEM projects.
Using DIY cleaning products is a great learning activity. What cleans better: vinegar, soap or water? Let the kids test each one and find out which one works best. Look at the reasons and you have a mini science lesson right in your kitchen!
A store is a great place to include STEM lessons. When you are talking about what you need to buy, talk about how much each thing costs. Talk about how needing to add tax to the purchase price. Figure out if you will have enough money when you get to the register by estimating the purchase ahead of time. Talk about calculations and the simple principle of how numbers and money impact our daily lives.
4- Riding in a Car
When riding in a car, talk about the speed of the car and the speed of other cars. If a car is passing you, what does your child estimate is their speed, in comparison to your speed. Expand on this when you get home by using toy cars to compare size with speed. “The big truck passed us going down the hill, but we passed him going up the hill. Why do you think this is?” Test the theory with the toy cars and a ramp.
5- Thinking of TWO solutions
Sometimes there are things that aren’t as simple as “X + Y = Z”. Sometimes, we need to think of other solutions. This is a great time to get your kids involved. When looking at a problem, like how to hang a shelf when you don’t have a hammer around, your kids can come up with other solutions. Challenge your kids to think of what would happen if they tried to hammer a nail with a plastic toy, or another object. Every day we are presented with simple opportunities for finding more than one solution to a problem – get the kids involved.
Sylvan Learning has courses that further expose our elementary and middle school children to STEM in a way that is fun to learn. Using Sylvan’s hands-on STEM programs, kids are able to build race cars, bridges, video games, and robots, to name just a few. Sylvan is helping children to discover the amazing world of science, technology, engineering, and math through these creatively themed sessions. There are STEM camps and sessions specific to coding, robotics & science, engineering, and math. STEM activities are used as a way to boost your child’s ability in these areas, so your child can get ahead to be just where he or she wants to be (and where you expect him or her to be) as a student.
By introducing STEM concepts to our children during the elementary and middle school years, we are giving them the chance to find a passion and interest with these subjects that will continue for years to come, helping to put our kids on the road to success. Success starts with STEM. Learn more at SylvanLearning.com