Why is STEM important for children?
Where does Science fit into my child’s life?
It’s everywhere! Every question is an investigation in the making whether it’s baking a cake, walking in the woods, taking a trip to the park or watching that tower fall down. Science is critical to life as we know it, the curiosity of scientists the world over, both past and present has led to some vital discoveries that affect us in our daily lives.
But science is about so much more than just concepts and knowledge, and while that part of it is important, I’d argue the skills science learning develops are far more important for our children in the long term (there’s always Google for the knowledge part!). Every time we investigate a new question, we are giving them the chance to observe, collect information, make decisions, form and voice opinions, develop resilience, collaborate and work effectively with others.
We need to start exploring science with our children from a young age, so don’t be concerned they are too young for science. Research shows that by the time children reach the age of 7 they have already decided whether they enjoy learning or not. Developing their enthusiasm and interest from a young age makes them much more likely to want to continue exploring a subject as they get older. You are their role model for learning, so share your enthusiasm and they’ll pick up on it too.
Hands on, practical science where you do simple activities together is the way forward. Forget the GCSE science classroom where you struggled over formula and complex theories! Science that relates to the real world around our children is the most effective and most fun.
Encourage your children to ask questions, and if you don’t know the answer don’t be afraid to say so. You have the perfect opportunity to create an investigation where you find out the answer together all while modelling how to do science with your small person. Start with what they already know and work your way up from there.
We don’t need to teach children how to ask questions or explore, it’s hard wired into their DNA! We just need to nurture their natural curiosity and provide opportunities to develop the life skills science learning promotes, everything from creativity and self-esteem to critical thinking and resilience. Your child already has the skills to be a great scientist, let’s nurture them together.