This post is brought to you by Remake Learning Days and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own.
Tinkering was one of my favorite things to do when I was a young girl. I wanted to be an inventor, and always thought I’d create some sort of machine that would change lives and make me rich in the process. I’d use odds and ends that I’d find outside and around my house, and piece together inventions that never ended up working.
We lived in a different time then. There were far fewer advancements in technology than what we have now. Kids these days can build everything from their own computers to robots just with items that are available at the local hardware store. Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, or STEM are common subjects now. We all just kind of expect that kids are into it and accept that they’ll need it in order to compete with their peers in the future.
But what if you have a kid who isn’t that into STEM subjects like that? As my daughter gets older, she has naturally gravitated more towards sports, social, and arts based interests. She used to love to build things and get creative on the computer. Now she’d much rather play basketball or choreograph a dance.
You know what? I’m cool with that. I have no doubt that my daughter will be able to have sucesss in life even if she isn’t a computer engineer. My concern is making sure she understands that STEM is more than just metal machines and writing code.
If you have a daughter like mine who doesn’t think STEM fits their interests, here are some ideas of ways to show them a different side of the field.
1. Take her to a maker or STEM / STEAM focused event.
There are tons of cool events all over the country that are focused on introducing kids to the STEM field. Whether it’s a maker program, a hacker event, or a program like Remake Learning Days, there’s something for every level of interest. Check out family friendly websites in your area that post local events, or do a quick Google search for “STEM + event + YOUR CITY”.
Remake Learning Days Across America is a creativity festival that’s happening in 9 regions all across the country from now through May. The event is hosted by partner organizations like museums, libraries, and schools and features a series of workshops focused on inspiring kids to “develop their sense of creativity, perseverance and curiosity.” If there isn’t an event in your region, you can apply to host your own version of Remake Learning Days as a pop-up event.
2. Show her how STEM fits into the activities she enjoys.
When my daughter is practicing her dances and wanting to figure out how to add a special gymnastics move, I talk to her about measuring the space to ensure she can do it safely. When she shoots a shot in basketball, the more she thinks about her position as it relates to the basket and curves the ball just right, the better she gets. Being intentional about showing her how STEM topics fit into the things she loves to do already just shows her that it’s not as unrelated as she thinks.
At Remake Learning Days events, there are plenty of opportunity to see how art, music, and other unexpected topics fit into the STEM wheelhouse. There are hundreds of events that are hosted by the partner organizations with lots of hands-on workshops for kids.
3. Be curious yourself.
Y’all know I’m all about modeling behavior for our daughters. If you show interest in STEM and in being innovative and trying new things, she will, too. Whether it’s a workshop where you can try your hand at building an app, or visiting an eclectic art exhibit, get out and do something different.
Oh, and don’t forget to talk to your daughter about it. Tell her that you’re not sure what to expect, but you’re going to do it anyway. Share how STEAM is all about discovering new things, and you’re being open in the same way that you would love to see her be open.
More about Remake Learning Days Across America
Remake Learning Days Across America events are separated into different learning themes. They are:
- Outdoor Learning
- Youth Voice
- There are also Professional Development sessions for school, out-of-school, childcare and non-traditional educators.
According to the organization, “Remake Learning Days aims to prepare youth for the future and to help close the equity gap in education with the majority of events being free and accessible to all families.” Is that a great mission or what? Want to find a Remake Learning Days Across America event near you? Head over to the Remake Learning Days Across America website, or follow them on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.