Nowadays, it’s all about technology in all aspects of life. How to utilize technology to create a better experience for everyone has become the most important goal for every country. There’s no doubt that ICT (Information and Communication Technology), 5G, and AI (Artificial Intelligence) are the key areas that we need to pay more attention in terms of education and career development. Over the last few years, the United States, as well as China, has invested a lot in ICT and 5G development and applications. It’s not difficult to see that there will be a great many new opportunities in new-born industries as well as traditional areas, such as Robotics, e-Commerce, Logistics, Manufacturing, Mining, Health Care, etc. All these demands for high skills and qualification in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math).
According to the U.S. Department of Education, the United States has launched several policies and strategic plans in the booming STEM education to expand student interest since 2009. As a result, building kids’ interest and knowledge in STEM-related fields has become essential.
When to Start?
Getting to know our kids’ personality is the first step to customize parenting and educational ways. As a matter of fact, personality is somehow determined by the actions of genes, which also reflects on our interests and hobbies. To sparkle up kids’ STEM interest, it requests family nurturing and inspiration apart from education at school.
But, when and how should we inspire them? Of course, it’s always better to make that investment as early as we can. Nevertheless, investing in kids at all ages is neither too early nor too late. The most precious investment is knowing how to cultivate their STEM creativity and imagination at different age levels.
Paths to Motivate Kids’ Creativity and Imagination
Family education has become as important as education at school. Parents could be an even better teacher from daily life to educational areas. However, not all parents are STEM educated or parenting trained. They might not know how and when to approach and educate their kids, what tools they should use, and more importantly, how to prepare and encourage them in building their creativity in STEM.
How to lead them a way out of it? The integrated term, STEM, will guide the direction.
To develop critical skills through STEM, like problem-solving, creativity, critical analysis, teamwork, independent thinking, initiative, communication, and digital literacy, some magnetic tiles toys could be a good start.
There are different purposes of toys choosing for different age levels.
For example, in toddlers’ stage, the target is to understand and differentiate some essential elements, such as colors, shapes, images, graphics, sounds, and numbers.
Here is some more info about toys for preschoolers and middle child.
Consequently, toys choice and family education are critical to building a path to motivate kids’ creativity and imagination in STEM.
Future Opportunities in STEM Education
Where will STEM lead our kids? It’s a common question asked by most of the parents.
Mathematics and Science lead to Technology, integrating with Engineering to make us a better life.
Here comes another question: what is STEM related to our life?
Indeed, STEM is everywhere.
Apart from the industries mentioned above, the 17 United Nations SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) are relying on us, the younger generations, to take concrete actions. Actually, they are very connected to each other. For instance, it requires the same core STEM skills to achieve all these 17 SDGs. That is to say, STEM-related industries demand lots of high skills professionals.
Above all, STEM provides our kids with the foundation and core skills to succeed in education and career and adapt to this increasingly complex world.
Surprisingly, approximately over 50% of the high school graduates will lose their interest in STEM-related classes even they show high interest in them at the beginning, according to the U.S. Education Department. To adapt to the changing world we all share, everyone has the responsibility to find out the reasons and solutions. In addition to the government’s encouragement and support, there are a lot more that we could do to create a better STEM learning environment for the young, the next generations.
Parents, teachers, communities, the living environment we build, everything and everyone around them, could possibly sparkle up STEM passion deep into their hearts at an early age.
For parents, starting with building a house for their pets, a garden, a bridge, simple constructional things related to our real life, could also be a valuable learning experience.
As for teachers, bringing some STEM-related toys into the classroom could help to enrich the class and strengthen student’s fundamentals with more fun in a brand-new experimental way.
It is worth it to tell them some stories about some well-known scientists, engineers, architects, and physicists, to give them some occupational examples where STEM could take them to.