6 Ways Parents Can Make STEM Cool for their Daughters (and Sons)!

    Family flying kites

    Number 1: “I want to be just like you, mom!”

    Kids want to be just like their parents. If they constantly hear “I do not like math” or “I was never good at science” and “I never used any chemistry after high school” then chances are their kids will pick up on and repeat those feelings. Regardless of how competent a parent is in math, science or technologies keep the messages positive. Reinforce how you might be better at math if you would have tried harder or seen the challenge in it.

    Number 2: It’s a household chore…
    When you think about it math, science and chemistry is used in everyday activities. Some examples include cooking, building, changing oil in the lawn mower, sewing and even balancing the checkbook. Parents should find ways to draw attention to these practical uses or even come up with challenges as their kids do these activities with them.

    Number 3: Schools out for Summer!
    Vacations and visiting new locations are ways to include sciences and technology during unexpected times. Look for technology-based exhibits, museums or events to include in your travel itinerary and help show how it can be fun and interesting to discover new things.

    Number 4: “I can’t wait to open my presents…”
    While a chemistry set may not be on your daughter’s birthday or holiday list, that doesn’t mean you can’t sneak some math or science gifts into your gift giving. There are plenty of fun on-line games and hands-on kits that can engage kids of all ages and potentially spark their interest in something new.

    Number 5: Here is Your Math Trophy!
    Everyone loves a scavenger hunt or earning special privileges. Search on-line or create your own games for your kids to discover math or science around them. This can be great in the car or on rainy days, and can include rewards of their favorite foods or outings. There are also a number of apps that are tailored to math/science/computers where the kids can win points that they can use later to play games.

    Number 6: Last summer, at chemistry camp…
    Your daughter might be asking to go to gymnastics camp or soccer camps which are valuable in their development. You can help widen their interests by including a science, math or technology camp in their summer plans as well. Most communities have a variety of options including local college for kids or science museums. GE Girls is an example of something GE offers in a few locations.