When you see something you can’t explain, it can be easy to mistake those moments for magic, such as a balloon floating into the sky or water disappearing from a surface right before your eyes. However, the truth is these moments aren’t magic but science at play. Consider these simple tricks that help convey the “magic” of science.
Science Made Magical
(Family Features) When you see something you can’t explain, it can be easy to mistake those moments for magic, such as a balloon floating into the sky or water disappearing from a surface right before your eyes. However, the truth is these moments aren’t magic but scienceat play. Observing the laws of physics or chemistry can, at first glance, seem too fantastical to be explained, but science can explain a lot.
These moments serving as creative ways to engage kids in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learning may be one of the best tricks of them all. STEM touches many aspects of daily lives, and finding the connections between the classroom and the “magical” STEM moments of day-to-day life can inspire children and pique their interests in these topics.
Consider these simple tricks that help convey the “magic” of science:
Knowing how the magic works doesn't necessarily make these tricks any less fun, and these simple tricks help teach children how STEM plays a role in everything, including fun and games. Another way to encourage children with STEM at an early age is encouraging them to participate in a program such as ExploraVision, the only STEM-related competition of its kind. It allows kids of all ages to create ideas for new technological innovations in response to current real-world issues. Participants work on their projects to supplement their science education, while also developing problem-solving, analytical and collaboration skills.
Parents and students can learn more about the competition and how to enter, and teachers can find free tips for engaging students, at exploravision.org.
Photo courtesy of Getty ImagesSOURCE:
Making sure your kids are ready to take on the world as adults is arguably one of the most important roles of a parent. Now, more than ever, education is the foundation of that preparation. As technology continues to evolve, it’s important that kids are learning, and also developing skills in high-demand areas, such as science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
Foundation for the Future
STEM plays a vital role in youth education
(Family Features) Making sure your kids are ready to take on the world as adults is arguably one of the most important roles of a parent. Now, more than ever, education is the foundation of that preparation.
The experts at the America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education program, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, are aiming to raise awareness of the benefits for today’s students, and partnering with farmers to award STEM grants that enhance programming at rural public school districts.
While nearly everyone has heard about STEM education in one way or another, some people don’t understand its true value in school and in the workplace.
It’s cutting edge. When it comes to innovation, there’s no disputing that STEM is progressing changes throughout society. STEM fields are at the forefront of nearly all of the exciting modern developments, from the latest digital gadgets enabled by technology to ground-breaking scientific research. Another benefit of this progressive environment is the financial and social impact on the community. Skilled STEM workers are driving trends and innovations, which can create jobs and boost the economy. All of these attributes appeal to eager, young graduates looking to make their mark.
It’s where the jobs are. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics published a report on the 10 fastest-growing occupations through 2026. In the report, 100 percent of the jobs fall into STEM categories, from the No. 1 growth career – solar photovoltaic installers – to a handful of medical field jobs to statisticians, software developers and mathematicians.
It’s a chance to make a real difference. STEM fields can drive true social change. Researching and uncovering new treatments, or even the cure, for a debilitating disease is only possible with skills gained through STEM learning. However, science isn’t the only STEM field that brings opportunities to make a difference in others’ lives. A career in technology could mean helping a child hear or see for the first time using a specially constructed device, for example.
It’s a stepping stone to dozens of industries. While STEM learning lends itself well to a fairly large scope of career choices, that list is ever-expanding. In fact, most of today’s graduates find themselves hard-pressed to secure a position without some STEM training. Consider a seemingly distant field such as fashion, for example, where digital technologies enable design sketching, mathematic skills factor into creating patterns and some engineering knowledge is necessary for designing a runway show. Beyond the less obvious career choices, STEM learning provides practical experience with methods of problem solving that can be applied to virtually any aspect of personal or professional life.
It’s helpful in developing additional skills. The specific training involved in STEM education can help lead to certain career paths that will be available in the future. However, it can also help with more general skills your child can use immediately. Students typically follow processes in STEM programming and training, such as the scientific method, that give them a chance to work with other students, test hypotheses and find solutions. These challenges can often help in developing teamwork, leadership and other collaborative life skills.
Learn more about the America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education program at GrowRuralEducation.com.
Support STEM Learning
As a parent, there are many ways you can support STEM learning in your local school district. It’s little secret that school district budgets are continually shrinking, so an important way you can encourage STEM learning is by exploring funding opportunities that can bolster STEM programming.
Initiatives like America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education focus on bringing STEM education to rural school districts. Eligible farmers can nominate their local public school districts for the grants, which help enhance STEM education. Schools then participate in an application process to compete for $10,000 and $25,000 grants.
One school district in Royal, Washington, is utilizing the program to raise academic achievement for students in the classroom and on state-mandated math tests. The America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education grant allows teachers to extend learning for students, especially those who are learning English as a second language, who need intervention but lack the technology at home.
An important learning barrier is being removed through the use of Chromebooks and Kajeet, a system that allows internet connectivity but also has a filter to ensure the technology is limited to academic use. Learn more about the program and nomination process at AmericasFarmers.com.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (teacher with student)SOURCE:
(NewsUSA) - It's an undeniable fact. Among cash, gift cards and the "toy of the moment," kids want to see video games under the Christmas tree. Rail against it all you want, that's the reality. But take heart, parents, today's video games can teach kids valuable life lessons not learned in a classroom.
For those that scoff at the idea that video games have value beyond hours of mindless entertainment, Sherry Turkel, a professor and researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology says, "think again."
"The games demand skills that are complex," Turkel told The Washington Post in an interview. "There is learning how to learn ? there is nothing mindless about mastering a video game."
One game that is getting attention for its complexity and teachable moments is Bungie and Activition's Destiny games, a bold world of action and adventure where kids are a Guardian of the last safe city on Earth. If you're a veteran and have followed the game from its inception, you may like the newest release, Destiny: Rise of Iron. If you're a newbie, Destiny -- The Collection, contains five games in one collection, including the newest release from the award winning franchise. And best of all, it's available for just $59.99.
Still not convinced? The following skills are just a few underlying themes in the Destiny franchise that teach kids lessons outside of simple distraction:
* Astronomy. The game offers a futuristic fictional scenario of our Solar System, where humans colonized other planets but were mysteriously brought to the brink of extinction (with known survivors now living in and defending Earth's last city from alien invaders).
* Problem solving and creativity. In Destiny, players not only fend off alien antagonists, but must also solve mysteries, create their own avatar race and class, and complete multiple tasks.
* Hand eye coordination. As a shooter-based game, Destiny features combat against an onslaught of alien enemy attacks from all angles.
* Team work. The game contains three-player strikes and six-player raids, requiring communication and teamwork.
* Socialization. Unlike other similar shooter-based games, Destiny does not have blood, gore, or adult content. Instead, the game is rated T for teen and focuses on sci-fi fantasy and discovery, making it a perfect game for parents and siblings as well.
Currently Destiny -- The Collection and Destiny: Rise of Iron are both offered on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One platforms.
For more information, please visit www.destinythegame.com.
You can spark your child’s imagination with reading, which allows playful creativity to take over and learning to ensue. Whether you, your child or someone else does the reading, there’s sure to be a memory produced, experience gained or knowledge added when there’s a favorite book or story involved. For more information on the importance of youth reading, visit rif.org/READPSA
Interested in Publishing on The Parenting IDEA?
Send your query to the Publisher today!