Resources for parents

Seven simple things you can do to encourage your kids in STEM

1. Go ahead, get dirty

Next time your little ones are shaking a bottle of pop to see what happens…let them! Okay, maybe take them outside. But you get the gist: curiosity begets curiosity. So in the name of science, let your kids get a little dirty when they play.

2. Play with their toys

There are tons of STEM toys that encourage kids to be curious about the world around them. But kids love to have someone to play with, so choose toys that sound like fun to you, too. If you buy a microscope but it doesn't turn your crank, chances are it'll be gathering dust in the corner in no time. Find cool STEM toys.

3. Send 'em to camp

There's a lot of competition to get a spot in some coveted summer camps, but did you know that there are over 100 organizations in Canada that offer day programs, summer camps, robotics clubs and university mini-courses in STEM? Two great places to get started? Actua and Camps.ca

4. Have the (ahem) talk

The science talk, that is. With science classes being optional in some high schools, talk to your children about how choosing a science class now can open up possibilities later.

5. Share the housework

Turning everyday tasks and chores such as cleaning, cooking and gardening into a scientific learning experience can have a big impact! Baking is chemistry (why does a cake rise when baked?), and growing a tomato is biology and botany in action! Spending time explaining how mixing certain ingredients or how cleaners work around the house can ignite your child's curiosity—and you get an enthusiastic helper!

6. Ask why

We all know that kids love to ask why. And it can drive some people crazy. But think about it…why is the sun yellow? It's a pretty interesting question, and finding the answer together can be a great journey. Maybe you can come up with a few challenging questions of your own that you can solve together!

7. Blow their minds

Lots of ordinary things that we see and do every day are connected to science, technology, engineering and math. So blow your kids' minds. Here are 10 great conversation starters to get the ball rolling:

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