Why is Family Engagement crucial for STEM?
According to the US Department of Commerce, STEM jobs were expected to grow by 17% from 2008 to 2018, making STEM one of the hottest topics today.
Parents have a huge impact on the career choices of children. They can mould the mindset of their children as they wish to. Therefore, everyone working for STEM research must keep Families at the center of STEM. After all, family engagement can change the entire field when it is a core element of programming and funding.
We as PTAs/PTOs need to understand the need of including STEM education or events as a part of our weekly or monthly schedule. Students need to leverage their interests from the beginning of their education so as to think about their careers in STEM fields. And for this Parents and Teachers need to make them understand the certainty of secure future with STEM education and careers, and provide them the required resources.
National PTA’s STEM + Families® initiative increases access to STEM education and careers, especially among underrepresented youth, by developing, evaluating and sharing effective ways to engage families in STEM experiences, while working with partners to improve access to STEM school and community learning environments.
Here is the link to some infographics provided by National PTA for the impact of STEM+Families:
"A PTA-sponsored Science Olympiad event is a wonderful way for all students to develop teamwork and critical thinking strategies," said Geri Sorrentino, Hawthorne Elementary teacher and Science Olympiad volunteer. "The age-appropriate activities allow students to seek creative and innovative ways to solve problems and to explore the scientific method."
Once the students get in a habit of critical thinking and finding innovative techniques for problem-solving, they will automatically look for opportunities to learn more and more about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). And the best way to do that is to consider having sci-fi events with the interesting and consistent engagement of students and families.
Some of the tried and tested events that can be planned in the upcoming academic year to support STEM+Families initiative are as follows:
- Science & Hobby Nights
- Science Olympiad Clubs
- Science assemblies
- Tech Nights
- Playing with machines, and many more.
The great aim of Education is not Knowledge but Action.
Do you have any exciting ideas for helping this excellent initiative by National PTA?
Share it with us in the comments section.
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