National STEAM Day was founded in the early 2000s to get kids interested in the vital fields of science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM). Today, there are more technology jobs available than qualified people to fill them. To make sure we have enough STEAM-qualified workers in the future, there’s a need for educators to get young kids interested in STEAM and equip them with the tools and knowledge they need to be competitive in the 21st century. Getting kids interested in STEAM can be difficult, but it’s definitely not impossible. You just have to make it fun!
How Can You Get Students Engaged in STEAM?
- Start them out young. The younger kids are when you start engaging them in STEAM, the more likely they are to stick with it. Giving them STEAM toys and games to play with and taking them to events where they can engage in hands-on STEAM activities are great ways to get them excited about STEAM.
- Enroll them in STEAM competitions, such as robotics and coding competitions. Not only are competitions great ways for kids to learn, the competition aspect makes it fun!
- Provide them with virtual web-based STEAM programs (such as Code with Google) which they can do from home and with one another. These learning platforms feel so much like games kids can’t tell the difference!
- Give them hands-on STEAM projects. From building blocks to interactive science experiments, kids love to use their hands. Plus, using their hands to make and analyze objects is one of the best ways for them to learn and remember new things.
- Give them STEAM role models to look up to. Teach your students about groundbreakers in STEAM. From famous astronauts to Nobel Prize-winning scientists and well-known inventors, there is no end to the number of innovators from past and present who will inspire your students to follow in their footsteps. They don’t have to be famous, either — you can reach out to local STEAM organizations to invite professionals to talk to your students.
Explore IEEE TryEngineering’s database of lesson plans to teach engineering concepts to your students, aged 4 to 18. Explore areas such as lasers, LED lights, flight, smart buildings, and more through our activities.