Kids are curious by nature and that's good news. They are capable of learning about math and science before one year old. However, like any subject, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) skills have to be encouraged as kids grow. Kids are capable of complex thinking even prior to being able to speak, but some mental processes, such as questioning and analyzing, are necessary to develop STEM abilities. The problem is that many kids don't get all the play and stimulation they need to progress in the best conditions.
STEM subjects are generally included in kids' school curriculums, but programs in technology and engineering, for example, are too often lacking. Young students have to wait until middle or high school to learn about those matters. Research has however shown that early education in math and science can boost children's development and narrow the education gaps. By making STEM interesting to your kids as early as possible, you can for good increase their chances of success.
How to stimulate your kids' curiosity in science? Here are a few examples:
- Explore the outdoors with your kids.
- Let your kids interact with animals (be careful with lions and rattlesnakes!).
- Encourage your kids to ask a lot of "what" questions.
- Give your kids many ways to play.
- Conduct fun experiments with your kids.
Picture: The Voyager Spacecraft (NASA Science Update - Wikimedia Commons)