Getting Girls Into STEM
Within many education systems across Europe, the USA and Canada there has been an increased focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) education to promote the skills that will be necessary for future technological development. A study from the Royal Academy of Engineering discovered that the UK needs over 10,000 new graduates in these fields each year in order to keep up with the current job demands. What is even more startling is that the engineering workforce in the UK is over 90% male. Due to this there has been an increased effort to engage young girls in these subjects and career paths throughout their schooling. But how can you foster this enthusiasm at home? Keep reading to see our top tips on how to get children thinking like engineers!
Make Learning Fun
Learning these vital skills doesn’t need to be from a textbook or involve a lot of written work, as this disengages children. Use toys and technology to teach them the skills they need without making it a tedious experience. By choosing a STEM kit to buy that features lots of different activities, it will keep children engaged for longer. Teachers often use this tactic in a classroom, choosing many different activities to develop the same skills. The Wonder Dot Creativity Kit from Robo Cube features multiple Do-It-Yourself projects focused around a little green one-eyed robot. There are many coding challenges for children to participate in, meaning that even if they find one activity too hard, there are plenty of others to try. Remember – the key is that children enjoy what they are doing so that they want to do it again, therefore consolidating their learning.
Link Learning to their Interests
Children are more likely to take part in activities that are linked to their interests outside of learning. If they like pets or animals for example, the Coding Critters Range is a perfect fit! This range allows you to chose between Dogs, Rabbits and Cats and more. Take the Coding Critters Bopper, Hip & Hop, using these adorable little rabbits, you can introduce young children to coding skills such as problem solving and cause and effect through the use of ‘storybook challenges’ that are sure to keep children engaged for hours!
For too long there has been old-fashioned and stereotypical views that these types of toys for children should be more focused on boys. Companies are constantly looking to diversify their company. Why can’t girls aim to be pilots and scientists? Recently, an all female girl robotics team from Afghanistan made the headlines and it is these kind of role models that are needed for young girls to look up to. So, if you are choosing a gift for a girl - buy that Electric Plane Kit to let them be a pilot or the Beaker Creatures Monster Glow Lab to allow them to channel their inner scientist. This will show them that they truly can become anything that they want to be, while developing the skills required to make their dreams happen.
`Comment down below any tips that you have found that encourage girls to engage with STEM education.