Thursday, January 23, 2014
The Curious George STEM Collection
Do you actively nurture your child's interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics) subjects? Far too few Latinos are pursuing degrees and careers in STEM fields, and those that do enroll in STEM college courses don't always graduate - too many drop out of those classes. But careers in these fields are in high demand and Hispanics are especially underrepresented. So if your child expresses an interest in STEM, it is important to support that interest and provide them with opportunities to strengthen those skills.
At what age should you start to encourage their inner scientist?
Every child is a budding scientist at heart. From the moment they are born, they are learning about their world, and before long are experimenting and testing their surroundings. Curiosity is a beautiful trait and it is important for us to nurture it in a safe manner.
You can support your child's interest by buying books about the natural world and reading to them. You can also look for toys that are more like tools for helping your child discover the world we live in like butterfly growing kits, gardening tools, magnifying glasses, microscopes, and so much more. You can create situations that help your child learn about and appreciate nature, such as participating in programs like Project Feeder Watch during the winter, or giving your child a balance scale and some common household items.
But there are also several online sites that have been developed to help kids understand their world.
PBS has created one such resource for kids in preschool through 1st grade, The Curious George STEM Collection, which may be found on the PBS Learning Media site. The Collection presents six different videos that children can watch to develop their knowledge of measuring, building, and simple machines. The site also offers lesson plans and interactive games for educators and families to use.
You can also find lots of great interactive games on the PBS KIDS LAB site, which uses popular characters from their shows to teach kids scientific concepts.
So if you're looking to keep your kids busy for a short time during the weekend or after school, this is a great educational tool to help you develop and strengthen their STEM skills!
Disclaimer: I am a PBS KIDS ambassador. However, I learned about the Curious George STEM Collection on my own and decided to share. All thoughts and opinions are strictly my own.