October 20, 2016

4 Ways to Help Kids Learn to Love Science

You want your children to find subjects they feel passionate about. You want your kids to love to learn, to develop their natural talents, and to feel inspired in whatever activities they choose. However, you also know that your children will have a more successful future if they foster an early interest in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics.

These fields, the STEM fields, direct your kids into high-paying jobs in accounting, manufacturing, and even astrophysics. Many children feel intimidated by these fields, especially as studies advance. But if your children discover an affinity for these subjects early on, they may feel inspired and motivated enough to stick with these disciplines even as studies become increasingly difficult.

Learn more about how to help your children discover a love for science by reading below.

1. Encourage Questions With Praise and Straight Answers

Children often think bigger than you might expect. So, when your kids ask you what the sun is made of, or inquire about black holes, photosynthesis, or genetics, divulge all the details with the appropriate vocabulary.

You shouldn’t try to simplify the answers-after all, the sun isn’t simply made of fire, and black holes are more than just deep space vacuum cleaners. Give complete answers with words your kids understand. For example, an explanation of the sun’s contents could include an explanation of matter’s different states: solid, liquid, gas, and plasma. You could also talk about the different elements stars burn.

With straight, detailed answers, you show your kids that their questions and thoughts are intelligent, engaging, and praiseworthy. You should even praise your children for their deep thoughts and questions. Praise will encourage your kids to continue asking the same kinds of questions. Those questions, in turn, could help your little ones turn into future scientists.

2. Have Monthly Science Fair Projects

Of course, your kids will have to do official science fair projects as they progress through elementary, middle, and high school. But even if your children haven’t gotten to that point yet, you can still ignite their imaginations by having them do smaller science projects every month or even every week.

These projects can range from building solar systems to making volcanoes out of vinegar and baking soda. As your children age, you can progress to even more complicated projects, such as building miniature engines. Look at online resources like Exploratorium if you need more inspiration.

3. Encourage Your Children to Read Science Fiction

Lots of science fiction lacks verifiable science, but this literary genre does open kids’ minds to what science and technology could achieve. Children might read different science fiction novels and feel driven to create invisibility or cloaking technology. They might even read about “futuristic” healing techniques and work to make those techniques a reality.

If nothing else, science fiction will generate more deep questions that lead to further learning.

4. Expose Your Children to Real-World, Scientific Problems

Science encompasses so many of life’s facets that your children probably don’t even know what questions to ask. You can expose your children to some of science’s most pressing projects, such as getting astronauts to Mars or converting mass amounts of salt water to fresh water.

When you explain these problems, brainstorm solutions with your kids, and tell your kids about the advances scientists have made toward solving these issues, you could inspire your children. After all, if other humans can do such incredibly creative and intelligent things, your children can feel hopeful about doing the same. And hope is a powerful motivator, especially in fields as challenging as science.

When your children end up loving science, technology, engineering, or mathematics, the process begins with questions and encouragement. Use the tips above to get started. And if you need any other suggestions, contact your child’s instructor and see if he or she can do anything to help.