How To Get Your Kids Excited About STEM Careers

As a mom of teens, I understand how important it is to provide our children with opportunities to explore their interests and find things they are  passionate about. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) careers offer immense potential for growth and development, but many kids and teens may not be aware of the benefits of pursuing these fields. I’ve found that encouraging my children to participate in STEM-related activities and providing opportunities to explore STEM has helped him get excited about pursuing a career in this field. Here are some tips for other moms to help their teens get excited about STEM.

How to get kids excited about STEM

How to get teens excited about STEM

In today’s rapidly changing world, careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) are in high demand, offering immense potential for growth and development. Needless to say, this makes them some of the best options when choosing what to study in college. In this article, we will discuss some tips and suggestions to help parents encourage their kids to explore STEM and get excited about the possibilities of pursuing a career in this area.

Encourage them to participate in STEM clubs at school

One way to get your kids excited about STEM is to encourage them to participate in STEM clubs in school. These clubs

Look for STEM Camps and After-school Activities

STEM camps and after-school activities are another great way to get your children excited about STEM. These programs offer immersive experiences in science, technology, engineering, and math, and can help your kids discover their passion for these fields. Look for programs that match your kid’s interests and provide hands-on experience.

STEM camps for teens

My son has been a part of the Robotics and Drone clubs in his school, and it has been amazing to see how much he has learned and how much he enjoys it. He started in elementary school and participated thought middle school. He has been to state competitions and has made so many friends through these clubs.  My son has attended a STEM camp over the summer, and he loved it! He was able to learn about various fields in STEM and participate in experiments and activities. These programs can provide hands-on experience in engineering and computer programming, and can help your children develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. 

Provide Opportunities to Explore STEM

In addition to structured activities, it’s important to provide your child with opportunities to explore STEM on their own. This can include visiting science museums, attending science fairs, or even conducting experiments at home. Encourage your child to ask questions and think critically about the world around them. By providing opportunities for exploration, you can help your children develop a love for STEM.

fruit battery and other Fun Hands-On STEM Projects for Kids

Connect STEM to things your child is already passionate about

STEM can be incorporated into many hobbies and passions that your teens already enjoy. My son has always been fascinated by video games and drawing, so we encouraged him to explore how he can apply these interests to STEM. We introduced him to graphic design and game development programs. Through this process, he learned about coding, graphic design, and how these skills can be applied to a career in the gaming industry.

You can do the same with your teens. If they are fascinated by the ocean, find a marine biology program or activity that they can join. If they love stargazing, visit a planetarium or attend an astronomy event.

Ocean encounters feeding lemon sharks in Curacao

Find role models and create connections with people who work in STEM careers

Whether it’s a character in a book or movie, or someone they know personally, we try to highlight the common traits and skills that make them successful in their STEM careers. For example, we recently watched a documentary about a marine biologist who was studying ocean life. We talked about her curiosity and persistence, and how those traits helped her make important discoveries.

Getting your child excited about STEM

We also like to point out family members or friends who work in STEM-related fields, such as a cousin who’s a software engineer or a neighbor who’s a nurse. By showing our teens real-life examples of people who are successful in STEM careers, it helps them to visualize themselves in those roles as well.

By recognizing people who advance STEM, whether they’re fictional or real-life examples, we’re able to show our teens that STEM is more than just a subject in school – it’s a way of thinking and problem-solving that can be applied to all aspects of life. And by providing them with opportunities to explore their interests in STEM, we’re helping them to develop the skills and knowledge they’ll need to succeed in whatever career path they choose.

Break Down Gender Stereotypes

I encourage my children to pursue their interests and passions without regard to gender stereotypes. We avoid setting boundaries and instead provide resources and support to help them follow their passions. For example, my daughter has taken an interest in woodworking, so we taught her the basics and bought her a set of tools. Similarly, my son enrolled in a cooking class when he expressed an interest in learning how to cook.

Getting girls interested in STEM

By empowering our kids to explore a variety of interests, we help them develop confidence and independence that will serve them well in all areas of life. It’s important to provide resources and support to help children follow their passions, regardless of whether they align with societal expectations. Ultimately, we want our children to know that their future holds endless possibilities.

Highlight the Benefits of Pursuing a STEM Career

Older kids and teens are often motivated by the desire to make a positive impact on the world. As a mom, it’s important to highlight the benefits of pursuing a career in STEM. Discuss the role that STEM plays in fields such as healthcare, environmental science, and technology. Show your teen how pursuing a career in STEM can help them make a difference in the world.

Getting kids to explore STEM

STEM careers offer immense potential for growth and development, and it’s important to encourage our teens to explore these fields. As a mom, I’ve found that encouraging my son to participate in Robotics and Drone clubs, providing opportunities to explore STEM, and highlighting the benefits of pursuing a STEM career have helped him get excited about this field. By looking for STEM camps and after-school activities, other moms can also help their teens develop a love for STEM and discover their passion for science, technology, engineering, and math.

Paula Bendfeldt-Diaz

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