Douglas Paul Dohrman recently discussed how parents can help build their kids’ STEM education skills from home.
Science, technology, engineering, mathematic — they’re the basis of STEM education and essential areas of learning for kids of all ages. The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently stated that there are more than 8.6 million STEM-oriented jobs in the United States. Douglas Paul Dohrman explained that that number is continuously rising, and it’s important for kids to develop STEM skills, even when learning from home.
“The coronavirus pandemic has forced many kids to start the new school year online from home,” Douglas Paul Dohrman said. “That can make hands-on learning very difficult, and STEM education is very hands-on.”
Douglas Paul Dohrman explained that because STEM learning is so experiment-based, it’s important for parents to help advance their kids’ STEM skills at home. He offered a few ways for parents to help advance these skills while engaging and having fun with their kids.
“Counting cups is a simple yet excellent mathematics activity for younger children,” Douglas Paul Dohrman said. “It can easily be incorporated with snack time too.”
Douglas Paul Dohrman suggested placing several empty cupcake liners in numbered rows and having their kids place the correct number of snack items (such as goldfish) in the cupcake liner with the matching number. For instance, the child should place seven goldfish in the cupcake liner marked with the number seven.
“If you’ve ever created a marble run, you know it’s just as much fun for parents as it is for kids,” Douglas Paul Dohrman said. “It’s also an ideal way to teach kids about gravity, the concepts of cause and effect, kinetic and potential energy, and more.”
Douglas Paul Dohrman explained that a marble run can be made with everyday items found throughout the house, like toilet paper tubes, blocks, LEGOs, and other toys. Help your little engineer compile items, attach tubes to one another, and create a variety of unique configurations to see how the marble travels differently each time. Ask your child to hypothesize why certain routes are faster or slower than others.
“LEGOs are a staple toy in many households, and that’s great because they can be used for a variety of STEM activities,” Douglas Paul Dohrman said.
He explained that parents can create simple LEGO structures with defined patterns and ask their kids to recreate the same designs with the same patterns. Continue increasing the difficulty level of the pattern or leave blank spaces in the pattern and ask the child to state what’s missing.
“STEM learning doesn’t have to involve in-depth science experiments or calculus,” Douglas Paul Dohrman finished. “It can be done in a way that is enjoyable for the parent and the child, and it can provide kids with the foundation they need to advance their STEM skills even more quickly when they return to a traditional school setting.”