As an award-winning author of STEM books for kids, I get asked this all the time. Especially by parents or teachers who might not be that interested in STEM themselves. They want to encourage this interest but have no idea where to start.
Step #1: Allow them to follow their curiosity!
Step #2: Get them to the library!
Kids that have an interest in science, technology, engineering, and math can find tons of resources at the library. I encourage you to let them roam the aisles of the nonfiction books. Encourage them to grab books about whatever topic interests them— sea turtles, cars, rockets, robots, elephants, quantum physics, or even the history of the world. Whatever captures their attention will fuel their imagination for the future.
The best way to learn about a job is to talk to someone who is doing it or has done it. Remember as a kid when you visited the firehouse to learn about being a fireman, or went to the local grocery store to learn about how food is transported and sold. Both of those experiences taught you about those jobs because you got to see— and hear— about it firsthand.
So, take your kids to nature centers or zoos and introduce them to the biologists. Go to a space museum and meet an astronaut. Or, if you don’t know where to go, take a listen to some podcasts, like my Solve It! For Kids podcast, where you can hear from scientists, engineers, and experts. Let kids dream that about the job they want to have one day.
Step #4 : Get Involved!
Get outside and explore the world! Sign up for a beach clean-up. Collect trash at a park. Go on a walk around a lake to notice the wildlife. Hike a nature trail. Ride bikes along the beach. All of these activities will introduce kids to the science that is all around them every day.
Curiosity. Exploration. Inspiration. That’s what it’s all about. If kids (of all ages), just investigate what intrigues them and strive to learn more, who knows where it will take them!
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