As parents, we want the best for our children in so many ways. We want them to be happy, healthy, and successful in life – whatever "success" means for them. We hope our kids will appreciate the wonders of the world and be informed and involved citizens. There are numerous ways that we, as parents, can influence our hopes for them, not the least of which is encouraging their education. We all want well-rounded, enthusiastic, life-long learners, don't we? Our desire is that they are prepared for college and careers, and will be good decision makers with regards to the choices they will make during their lifetimes.
Parenting: a daunting task indeed.
Here we list resources to encourage education and involvement in the STEM fields. Our latest additions are first.
Here you’ll find the Artificial Intelligence Family Challenge, and more programs to encourage curiosity, creativity, and perseverance. This organization has an engineering and technology emphasis.
From Stanford University Graduate School of Education; their site aims to promote math as fun and challenging. Use their resources to inform yourself and encourage your child.
Discover STEM learning programs and activities in your community. Multiple collaborators have made this excellent searchable directory availabe.
Subscribe to Fermilab's community newsletter. News and public events at the lab.
Their compelling main page leads you to mission information, galleries, podcasts, and more items to discuss with you child.
A Chicagoland events calendar, “Chicago STEM and Maker Fun for Teens and Tweens”
Many think that STEM should have an Arts component, to increase integration, collaboration, creativity and communication, thus STEAM! Check out their upcoming programs.
Science Fair help, activities in and out of your home, and a summer science camp directory with related information.
Is your child interested in information technology, telecommunications, cyber and computer science? A searchable database to help you find info about careers, schools, degree programs and more.
Recommended resources from their K-12 Outreach Office
The European Coordinating Body in STEM Education promotes education and careers. Brochures, videos and more from the EU perspective. Link to their STEM careers publication.
This company sells water purification devices and maintains a page with links to activities that you can do at home with your kids! And, in the spirit of the web, the links lead to more links. If you pursue any of these with your children, think about how you can change the “recipe” to transform that activity into an experiment rather than a demonstration. How can you make the endeavor more inquiry-based, with your child asking questions, and then devising new investigations? Ask your child for explanations of the phenomena that you are observing together, and also ask for evidence to support their explanations. Suggested by one of our readers:
Blog dedicated to helping parents raise STEM-loving, "Maker-friendly" kids. Highlights Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, gifted education, and STEM for girls. Kim Moldofsky, author, mother.
National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity (NAPE) promotes equity in educational opportunities and career choices.
Information for those seeking and promoting STEM careers, edited by Rich Feller
People have acted as scientists on their own for millennia. Whether making bird observations in one's own yard or testing different farming techniques from year to year, we're all scientists in some way. Perhaps you've engineered a solution to fix a broken toilet, or your daughter has fiddled with a toy in a manner that could be considered engineering. Well, Citizen Science is an opportunity for you and your kids to take part in actual scientific investigation, while having some family time. You will all learn content and scientific practices and you'll actually help collect data for projects already in place. An added bonus is that some of these projects will get you all outside enjoying nature.
See more Citizen Science ideas at the bottom of the Student Things to Do page.
Yet another great resource that may be available at your library is Citizen Science Guide for Families, Landraf, G. (2013). The book lists a multitude of great projects for you and your family.