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STEM learning subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math) are traditionally the subjects that kids take on without much enthusiasm. They're not seen as being like art, gym, theater, and other fun electives that kids look forward to going through in school.
Kids sometimes complain that the subjects in STEM learning are harder. In reality these more difficult subjects can be just as fun and exciting to learn. All teachers need do is take the right steps to make it more enjoyable.
How to Make STEM Learning a Blast
According to the U.S. Department of Education, only 16 percent of kids go into these fields after graduation. So it’s imperative that lessons in STEM learning be fun and encouraging to students so they purse their scientific interests into their college years.
Computer programming, engineering jobs, and mathematics are just some of the jobs that are STEM-based in the real world. Here are some ways that teachers can make STEM learning more fun for young students.
Get Hands On
Using real applications through experiments is a great way to get kids out of their chairs, and into getting their hands dirty. It’s fun to get hands-on in learning. Being interactive in a classroom setting is always more exciting than just sitting. Doing actual experiments relating to science will be much more memorable to students than anything they will read in a book about the subject.
Take a Field Trip
Getting out of the classroom to have students view real working STEM applications in the outside world will make a big impression on their brains. Whether you have a great local science museum in your area to visit, or can take a tour of a company that is based on STEM principles, this will give the students examples of how important this learning is for the future.
Kids sometimes complain that the subjects in STEM learning are harder. In reality these more difficult subjects can be just as fun and exciting to learn.
Hold a Competition
Children are naturally competitive. Allow them to compete against each other whether it’s in some form of a quiz competition like classroom "Jeopardy" or other games that make learning STEM fun. It will help them retain the information much better. Kids like to win as well, so it makes them more interested in learning when competing against their peers.
What child doesn’t enjoy a little reward? It doesn't have to be anything elaborate. Even something small can keep a child interested in the STEM learning subjects you are teaching. Or give out tickets for right answers to questions in class. Then they can turn in their tickets at the end of the week to get a small prize out of a goody box you can put together.
Allow Kids To Work In Teams
When students are able to bounce ideas off each other, they are going to naturally let creativity flourish. Kids in general like working with their peers, because it allows them to be social during class. Plus, as long as they are getting the work done, it doesn't hurt to have them work together.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in 2017 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
Originally published Nov 3, 2017, updated Dec 19, 2021