Children have a natural interest in STEM; parents must encourage their curiosity

Aug. 4, 2014

Children already have an interest in STEM; it's the parents that need to step up their game.

Babies and toddlers are constantly interested in building blocks and toy trains. They are fascinated with the outside world and search ceaselessly for the basics of STEM: science, technology, engineering and math. They satsify their need for science in their curious nature for nature. They learn math at an early age and are introduced to technology as soon as possible. Their engineering skills grow from building blocks to lincoln logs, then Legos and Kinex. Children have a healthy curiosity for STEM education, so why are there so few people going into STEM careers?

I believe the problem lies with the parents. Reading is encouraged more than engineering toys and her art work is praised more than his A plus on a math test. Though the arts are important in and of themselves, STEM is the foundation of our future. Knowledge of STEM is required in almost every job in today's soceity; without STEM, our world would be dull and less innovative.

Granted, there is a huge generation gap between the kids who grew up with the iPhone and those who grew up with a typewriter. But that's the problem. These adults without technology in their pasts raise children to love the arts, which have been around for far longer. Since STEM is a relatively new concept, parents do not know how to introduce it. Nevertheless, children are born with a natural love of STEM. Parents simply need to encourage it in order for it to flourish.

In addition to parents not understanding the need for STEM education, teachers are ill-equipped for educating these children. Most of their resources are outdated, the curriculum is dull and their knowledge of STEM is limited to their narrow mindset. Preparing adults in general to teach their kids and their students about STEM education is essential to our children's future in STEM interest.

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