Parents

STEM Resources for Parents

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, lifelong 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. The resources are listed in alphabetical order.

Over one-hundred hands-on activities for quick and fun things to do: STEM, crafts, coding, cooking, nature and holiday topics. You can also sign up for their electronic newsletter.

Many think that STEM should have an Arts component, to increase integration, collaboration, creativity and communication, thus STEAM! Check out their upcoming programs.

Discover STEM learning programs and activities in your community. Multiple collaborators have made this excellent searchable directory availabe.

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.

Browse the site to connect with nature in our treasured county forest preserves. You can read nature stories in the blog Nature’s Storytellers, or connect to our local natural preserves in the comfort of your home

A network of European Ministries of Education, the goal of this not-for-profit is to bring innovation in teaching and learning technology to learners, educators, researchers and industry.

The STEM Aviation and Space Education program of the Federal Aviation Administration aims “to prepare and inspire the next generation of skilled professionals for the aviation and aerospace industries and to educate the public about FAA’s mission to maintain the safest, most efficient aerospace system in the world.” Summer programs, videos, career information and more at their site.

Keep up with the latest news and information on public events at our world famous, neighboring national research lab.

Looking for out-of-school STEM enrichment programs, created with encouragement, fun and inquiry-based experiences in mind? Check out the variety of programs at IMSA.

The International Society for Technology in Education has developed technology standards for students (and educators) as we’ve become digital citizens. You may be interested in reading them, and reflecting on how you can help your child thrive in a rapidly changing technological world.

This overview article includes a definition of STEM, with justification for the movement, information on STEM in K-12 education, interactive opportunities for kids, and extracurricular programs such as camps and after school programs.

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.

You can sign up for weekly emails that will provide you and your family with activities and ideas to keep that science learning going! Make a stomp rocket, and much more.

Their compelling main page leads you to mission information, galleries, podcasts, and more items to discuss with you child.

Science Fair help, activities in and out of your home, and a summer science camp directory with related information.

Information for those seeking and promoting STEM careers, edited by Rich Feller

National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity (NAPE) promotes equity in educational opportunities and career choices.

A Chicagoland events calendar, “Chicago STEM and Maker Fun for Teens and Tweens”

Check out the National Parks’ website. If you can’t visit in person—or to prepare for a future visit—view their webcam broadcasts, video and photo tours, kids’ activities, citizen science opportunities, and explore all sorts of interesting information. Yay for our national parks!

Recommended resources from their K-12 Outreach Office

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.

Citizen Science

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.