By the time they are in elementary school, most kids have already made the decision to pursue a STEM career (or not!). From societal pressure, to lack of early exposure to STEM in school, this is the most important time to capture their interest.
How can we prepare our kids to be successful in the future of work? Involvement by both parents and schools is key! Today, littleBits is excited to officially launch a partnership with the National PTA, an organization with more than 20,000 recognized chapters in the United States, to help get kids interested in STEM early.
STEM + Families is focused on engaging entire families in STEM experiences at school, at home, in the community and with digital learning environments to support students’ success in STEM. The goal of the initiative is to spark an interest in STEM education, inspire families and communities to explore STEM education and career opportunities, and engage family members in shared learning experiences.
What are we doing, specifically?
littleBits has joined the National PTA’s STEM + Families program and will be offering grants to at least 20 schools to host “littleBits Invention Nights” that will offer both children and their parents to create littleBits STEM inventions. The grants will be awarded in November, and the events will take place throughout the winter and spring of this school year.
Jim Accomando, president of National PTA, said this of the collaboration: “To bridge the STEM gap, we must foster students’ passion for STEM subjects and help them build the necessary knowledge and skills to pursue STEM degrees and career opportunities. The best way to do this is to get families involved. We know that families play a critical role in children’s academic success and have the biggest influence on children’s educational and career decisions. We are pleased to have littleBits join our STEM + Families initiative and are grateful for the company’s support of our efforts to engage families in STEM education.”
How can you get your kids interested in STEM at home?
- Get involved! One of the best predictors of whether a kid pursues a STEM career is whether they have parents who are in those fields themselves and support their interest.
- Challenge your kids at home! In addition to giving you more one-on-one time with your little ones, STEAM projects from coding to chromatography can help your kids learn through play.
- Make it real. Everyday tasks like cooking, banking, and shopping include elements of STEM that you can highlight for your kid to help them see how STEM can be applicable in the real world!