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How to Make STEM Learning Fun for kids

Feb 22, 2018 12:00 AM

All children are not created equal? Well, they are, and they’re not. All children are valued, and all youngsters have a voice and will find their unique place in this world. But, they do not all share the same love of learning that other children have. Many kids today are challenged in their learning abilities and must work harder than others to understand the lessons. This is where some key differences in kids lie.

For many children, learning is a challenge, and many factors come into play regarding how they learn. For example, a child that is being teased at school is less likely to enjoy her school subjects. She also processes the material inefficiently and possibly incorrectly. When this happens, learning is frustrating and a struggle. On the other hand, there is the student who accepted by her classmates and enjoys the school experience. She absorbs the lessons enthusiastically and is always eager to learn more.

STEM is an acronym and includes learning the material in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. Regardless of which type of child is in your classroom, science, math, and technology can be scary and intimidating to learn. However, you can bring lessons “to life” through many different methods and techniques. If you are a homeschooler, these strategies are great for you and your family too!

Below are some of the best ways to engage kids and get them interested in STEM.

· Get them out of the classroom and go on a field trip. Kids love any excuse to leave the school building and why not? Taking a field trip is an excellent way to pique students interests in what they will be seeing. Some suggestions are taking them to a local park, museum, or zoo. During your outing, have your students draw pictures in their journal of objects or people that stand out to them. Encourage them to analyze why they chose that item or person. When kids identify why they like something, it encourages critical thinking, and the writing will tie in the trip with Language Arts. If you are teaching younger students, say preschool and Kindergarten, take pictures of your students with their favorite object in the museum or zoo. Then, when you’re back in class, they can tell you why they liked the object best.

· Foster critical thinking with teamwork. Have a set of different race tracks and let students bring in different matchbox cars. Divide the class into teams and let them build the race course that will accommodate their different vehicles. The Global Digital Citizen website ( encourages teamwork because kids learn from each other and feel less threatened than when an authority figure is teaching the lesson. When the kids create their race courses, they are learning about design and engineering. When they see that they need to make changes to the track to make the cars race quickly and not fly off the track, the students are learning velocity, physics. One of the best things about this activity is that the group is that your students are constantly thinking critically, communicating with each other, and using problem-solving skills!

· Use hands-on activities and build with Legos, blocks, or Lincoln Logs. Kids love to touch things, manipulate blocks to make a tower and knock it down. This may seem trivial, but it is an excellent hands-on activity for kids of all ages. Some ideas are to design a car using Legos. Have other children build a house out of the Lincoln Logs, while others copy the Tower of Pisa. See how high they can stack the tower of blocks before it falls over. Give your class criteria to construct these items and see where their imagination takes them. This is another activity that can be done in small groups or individually. You may even want to try both to make the lesson more interesting. Again, this lesson focuses on creativity, analysis, and problem-solving.

All of these activities encourage learning different levels of STEM standards that educators are required to teach. If you are thinking of taking a field trip, why not bring your class to Mad Science? We love kids and have many ideas that will stimulate their love for learning. Call today and make your next field trip a memory to last a lifetime.

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