This week is Science Week and it brings excellent opportunities to introduce our kids to STEM, which stands for science, technology, engineering and math.
These are topics that teach us and our kids a huge array of skills that last a lifetime such as problem-solving, decision making, persistence, and curiosity. They can, on occasion, come across as pretty big subjects that seem complicated and daunting, which can make STEM potentially off-putting if approached in the wrong way.
Learning new technologies and sciences, however, opens up a world of exploration, creativity, and opportunity. So, how can we introduce it to our kids and encourage them to discover the world of STEM?
Building LEGO creations, planning domino and marble runs, or even combining both is a brilliant way to introduce kids to the concept of STEM. Building begins with creativity. Designing a house made of bricks, or a route and pattern of dominos to topple is a perfect example of engaging with various aspects of STEM. After designing, no matter how brief, comes the construction. What items are the best to use, how can we make the structure stable, what supports are needed?
When our kids use their imaginations to build a fort made of pillows and blankets they are exploring construction without even realising it. Challenge them to build using pots and pans, or lollipop sticks, or see what happens when they get their hands on cardboard, wooden blocks, and a few bouncy balls.
Take to the great outdoors this Science Week and as you walk through a park or woodland, encourage your kids to explore the world around them. Look to the sky and discover the shapes of the clouds, feel the rocks at your feet, build a nest with twigs, delve into nature and uncover what makes the world go around.
Kids love messy play, so take out the slime, the goo, the water, and the bubbles and help your kids explore STEM by introducing them to science experiments. Test out which items sink or float and teach them about volume and weight. Blow up a balloon and test air capacity, density, and weightlessness. There are so many experiments to choose from while also entertaining the kids with wonderful messy play.
Explore Science Week
Take to the National Museum of Ireland and learn about climate change. Visit EPIC: The Irish Emigration Museum and learn about the many Irish involved in science. With many amazing events being held this year, be sure to check out Science Foundation Ireland for an event near you.
Science Week may fall this year from November 7 to 14, but engaging with STEM is an all year round event.