In this blog post, we will discuss how STEM Education is beneficial for girls. Firstly, what is STEM and its purpose?
STEM Education is a curriculum based around the four disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Rather than teaching these four disciplines independently, STEM integrates them together into a learning paradigm based on real-world applications. Over the twentieth century, less and less students have been focusing on these topics recently. Thus, widening the male-female gender gap even more in related fields. The best solution to this issue is education through STEM to motivate and inspire girls..
How can you as a parent help your child with STEM?
Promote a growth mindset to your child
Instilling a growth mindset in a child allows them to believe that their abilities and skills can be developed over time. Many children in the current generation lose motivation and interest after a single failure. Thus, they must treat every failure as a solution that did not work and attempt again. You can help your child by giving them example of successful people who failed, such as Thomas Edison who failed 10,000 times before perfecting the lightbulb. Moreover, you can also set an example by taking up a growth mindset yourself.
Guide your child to finding their own answers
Young children develop new knowledge and skills every day by asking hundreds of questions. Instead of dismissing these questions, you should help them to find the answers. This can be done by Googling the question, reading up on it at the library or experimenting at home. By teaching your child to find their own solutions to problems, you are raising problem solver.
Purchasing construction and open-ended toys
Toys such as LEGOs, Magnatiles and Duplo will enhance your child’s creativity and imagination. Many successful STEM professionals are dreamers, such as Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. Thus, by letting your child’s imagination run wild with these toys, you are giving them a space where they can plan, build, break and start over again
Go on Science Trips
Visiting museums, zoos, aquariums and science fairs are all positive environments to encourage your child. In order to benefit the most from these trips, you should visit more than once, such as having monthly family trips. You will notice that once you visit a certain location a few times, your child will focus in the areas that really interest them. They will start asking more focused questions and interact deeper. This will also tell you more about your child’s interests.
Integrate STEM into everyday life
Have your child relate aspects of everyday into STEM. Some examples include questioning how things work and understanding the reasoning behind everyday tools. By encouraging your child to question, you are teaching them to find problems and their respective solutions, a quality that is sought in STEM.
Talk about women in STEM as role-models
There is currently a stereotype around women and careers in STEM related fields. This can be overcome by exposing your daughter to females who have succeeded in STEM. Moreover, explain to your daughter how these females became successful so that she can relate and envision themselves in a similar path. You can also find books and movies with strong female STEM characters. Lastly, if you are a mother, then you can start being a role-model as well to your daughter.