#STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Math and in some organizations Arts have been added to create #STEAM. We have the programs – make sure your children are there. It’s all about exposure. If children are not aware that these career choices are available, they can’t aspire to be an engineer, scientist or techie. If you do not expose them to these programs, you/they do not know that they have an interest or a gift in math or science.
You can find the programs at the Boys & Girls clubs, many schools have STEM after school programs, check your city’s Police Activities League (#PAL), major organizations like Chevron support STEM programs or offer programs, you just need to look for them.
I believe that children are natural born #scientists, #mathematicians, #engineers, #techies, etc. We need to place them in environments that feed the children’s intuitive curiosity. We need to show them that a career in math and science is a path they too can pursue. Let’s talk about the importance of science and technology as “cool” subjects that can lead to exciting career opportunities.
Think about how excited children get when they have discover something new in their world. Children experience this excitement almost every day as they learn about their environment and start to internalize its many rules and regulations. Why do my eyes blink? What do caterpillars turn into? How many stars are in the sky? They are always asking important questions, some silly, some not. Most of these questions adults cannot answer or even think about. Why does the sun shine? Where does beach sand come from?
There are tons of studies on why children think they way they do. But, the thing that they all agree on is that we have to keep them interested in science and math from kindergarten on. They can’t be inspired if they aren’t experiencing that ‘thing’ – whatever that ‘thing’ is for them. So, take the time, yes, make the time to get your child involved in something other than or as well as sports or dance. Because he’s a boy doesn’t mean he has to play sports. Because she’s a girl doesn’t mean she has to take dance classes. Give them a small dose of a lot of things.
Yes STEM careers can be challenging, but no more challenging than being a lawyer, or a surgeon or superstar ball player. It takes time, lots of time to be proficient at anything. So, please, at least let them try something different. Science CAN be fun!
Where I live – Richmond, CA – I visited with the Robo Kids class at Richmond PAL (#RPAL) and truly enjoyed how enthusiastic the kids were about their robotics project with instructor, retired teacher Karen Roy and Program Coordinator Dr. Shantina Jackson. They made little robotic legos. Really cool to watch them.
My children’s books series, Just Imagine…What If There Were No Black People in the World? will make a wonderful addition to any STEM or literacy project. Along with the first book, Jaxon’s Magical Adventure with Black Inventors and Scientists, we have an activity book, coloring book and journal. These books are surely a way to introduce children to the idea of #science and #technology, as well as providing mentors and fun historical reading.
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See ya next time!!