This post is sponsored by National 4-H Council
“Wow, a high school magnet program in engineering?” marvel fellow parents upon hearing my daughter has started her freshman year in high school. “Has she always liked STEM? What inspired her to apply to an engineering program? What kind of engineer does she want to be?”
Since nearly two-thirds of American teens have never considered a career in engineering, my 15-year-old’s path may seem a bit unusual compared to others her age. I’m often asked what I did to foster her interest in engineering and I like to say that I fostered her curiosity by incorporating STEM into everyday activities.
At their cores, young children are filled with curiosity. Their seemingly endless questions about everything under the sun, desire to experiment, and need to do things themselves is how they’re making sense of the way things work. As their questions get more complicated, we have a choice. We can shut down the conversation by saying we don’t know the answers, let feelings about grades in high school or college level classes get in the way, or stay open minded and willing to learn with our kids.
These days there are no shortage of available STEM products, classes, and experiences designed to foster scientific knowledge. However, some of the best learning can be done at home thanks to free resources from 4-H STEM Lab, which offers easy to follow activities that use household or easily accessible store-bought materials.
About 4-H STEM Lab
4-H STEM Lab, supported by HughesNet, is a free online resource that provides families with fun, straightforward, hands-on STEM activities for kids of all ages. STEM Lab focuses on making STEM accessible for kids everywhere. Hands-on projects using inexpensive materials are designed to instill curiosity and critical thinking skills because 4-H wants to inspire kids to do. STEM Lab activities inspire kids to be actively engaged and learn necessary skills that allow them to be successful in life.
With engaging activities to match every child’s interest, subject, and grade as well as the ability to filter by estimated time it will take to complete the project, 4-H STEM Lab makes it easy to fit STEM into any part of your day. 4-H makes it easy to get started by sorting project materials according to things you’re likely to have at home and materials you may need to purchase. Clear explanations of the STEM concepts are provided, and The Messy Meter gives a sense of how much clean-up time you’ll need before you even get started!
Engineering Challenges for All Ages from 4-H STEM Lab