Could your child be a future scientist or engineer? Here are a few ways you can “STEMulate” your child’s talent through interactive STEM activities and programs.
1. Science Centers and Museums
Many destinations in Northeast Ohio (and Columbus, if you are willing to travel) provide hands-on experiences for all ages.
The Great Lakes Science Center, located in Cleveland, offers science demos and exhibits that allow children — and adults — to learn about everything from aeronautics to electricity.
Other great options include: Akron Children’s Museum; The Children’s Museum of Cleveland; COSI in Columbus; and OH WOW! The Roger and Gloria Jones Children’s Center for Science and Technology, located in Youngstown.
“At the root of STEM is curiosity, which is something every child is born with,” says Kirsten Ellenbogen, president and CEO of Great Lakes Science Center, adding the facility was built for families and appeals to a wide range of ages. “As your child gets older, STEM activities are a really important way to make sure they feel ownership by experimenting and testing out their ideas. Our best scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs…have managed to stay curious.”
The Science Center has many programs — including homeschooling events, camps, early childhood education and daily activities — relating to STEM subjects.
2. Subscription to a STEM Club
For a fee, your child can receive a new experiment each month, delivered right to your door. Here are a few options to try:
- Amazon’s STEM Club, which encourages learning through play, is for ages 3 to 13. amazon.com
- Genius Box includes three themed activities and experiments each month, designed for ages 8 to 11. geniusbox.me
- StemBox specializes in STEM experiments that appeal to girls ages 8 to 13. mystembox.com
3. Your Local Library
In addition to the nearly endless borrowing options, many libraries offer STEM kits ranging from magnet science to fun with snap circuits. Check out your local library’s program calendar for other STEM-related events and activities.
4. Make Electronics Educational
There are numerous websites that allow your child to play interactive STEM games, design real blueprints and even catch the attention of a college recruiter.
Auto Desk is a leader in 3D design, engineering and entertainment software. You can download free software for students on its website.
Stem Premier is a website that allows middle school and high school students (with permission and guidance from parents and teachers) to create a pro le and showcase their skills. Schools and companies can search for and connect with the student’s work.
5. Board Games
Family game night is a great way to spend time with your children. Here are a few STEM-specific games: Engineering Ants, Code Master, Quirkle, Bloxels, Uno and Mastermind Junior.
6. Pinterest Activities you can do at Home
• Easter egg tower from The Resourceful Mama — Stack plastic Easter eggs to see how tall of a tower you can build.
• Build a boat that oats from Elementary Nest — You will need: water, bucket, straws, scissors, plastic wrap and duct tape. Cut and tape straws together to build a boat, then wrap in plastic wrap. Place the boat in the bucket of water to see if it oats.
• Build a toy car ramp from Momgineer: Use paper towel rolls to make a ramp. Cut them in different sizes and piece together, adding angles and turns.
7. Create your own Science Projects
Be creative in your everyday life. Have your child make a robot out of old boxes and other materials at home. Next time you are headed to the park, grab a magnifying glass and examine the different insects you find. Let your child make blueprints of a sandcastle and then build it together when you get to the beach.
STEM can be exciting and fun for children of all ages. And you never know, your child could be the next Albert Einstein.