What is STEM?
If you have a child in school, you’ve probably seen or heard the term “STEM.” STEM is a term used to describe the study of four academic disciplines: science, technology, engineering, and math. While children have always studied these subjects, STEM brings them together in new ways through an interdisciplinary approach to education. This method incorporates project-based learning and hands-on activities that spark a child’s imagination and inspire their curiosity – while simultaneously developing important and valuable skills.
What are STEM skills?
STEM education fosters the development of valuable skills. These are skills in high demand, those needed to succeed in the workplace today. Some of these STEM skills are:
- Analytics skills like determining conclusions from research
- Problem-solving skills like finding solutions to broken processes
- Technical skills like troubleshooting computer errors
- Communication skills like motivating teams to do their best work
In practice, STEM skills help people solve problems more effectively, gather data efficiently, and make data-driven decisions intelligently. The U.S. Department of Education recognizes the importance of STEM and is investing substantial amounts to support its use in schools. While STEM in the classroom gains more momentum every day, it’s important that communities help advance STEM education, too. Parents can even lead the charge.
Can parents teach STEM at home?
Yes! STEM skills are primarily developed through hands-on STEM activities and play-based learning. Fortunately, these activities aren’t limited to the classroom. Parents can play a major role in STEM education.
If parents have a STEM-related profession, they can teach by example and bring their children to work. If that isn’t doable, parents can seek out professionals in those fields and see if their child can shadow them for the day. This experience helps children see how STEAM activities can prepare them for a successful future.
Parents can also jumpstart this journey by encouraging their child to ask questions about how things work, watch educational programs and digest it through group discussions after, or explore STEM extra-curricular activities like a robotics class. There are always events and conversations happening in the community or online forums.
With the proper learning tools, parents can teach STEM at home and nurture their child’s growth. While you may not consider yourself a scientist or mathematician (and if you are, you’re already a step ahead!), you can bring STEM learning into your household. All you need are the right ingredients.
Recipe ideas for teaching STEM at home
You can cook up plenty of fun with your child while they develop STEM skills. When you mix planning, creativity, and determination into the pot, you have a recipe for success. There are so many educational tools like Sphero BOLT that can help you teach STEM at home, but it’s overwhelming if you don’t know where to start. Here are three recipes you can follow to begin teaching STEM at home.
Teach your child coding at home
The STEM Recipe
It’s no secret: coding careers are booming in the United States. Professions like software developers are already one of the highest paying jobs today, and the demand for these roles is growing at a rapid pace. Prepare your kid for a successful future by teaching them fundamental programming concepts and coding skills.
1- 2 hours per week
- Sphero BOLT programmable robot
- Sphero Edu app
- Computer, tablet or smartphone
- An hour or two without any distractions
- Our programmable robots are a great way for children to develop 21st century skills through hands-on learning. Pick up one of our educational robots like Sphero BOLT or Sphero Mini and join the millions of parents and children that turn to Sphero for their STEM education.
- Set up your programmable robot and walk your child through its basic features. Drive Sphero BOLT around the house and play some of the built-in games.
- Once your child is familiar with the educational robot, download the Sphero EDU Your child will get access to thousands of STEAM activities and gain the ability to create her own programs.
- With Sphero Edu, you and your child can interact with programs that let you draw paths or use scratch blocks to code in an engaging and accessible way.
- Use programs made by Sphero and the community to play STEM games and create your own. For example, play Jumping Jacks with Jumping Jack and see how your Sphero robot can count leaps in the air.
- Encourage your child to keep experimenting with new programs and STEAM activities! There’s always something new to learn.
The tools you need to teach STEM
Of course, no recipe tastes right without the correct ingredients. When you're teaching STEM principles at home, make sure you have everyday essentials like tape, glue, string and other craft materials. These tools complement and enhance more advanced learning tools like robotics kits.
STEM skills are imperative for kids to be successful in today's world, both as students and future professionals. Programmable robots are just one of the STEM learning tools that parents can use to encourage STEM at home. Having fun at home with STEAM activities is a great way to nurture your child's education in a lasting way.
Learn more about how Sphero helps parents, kids, and educators go #BeyondCode with Sphero educational STEM kits and robots.