6 Ways Parents and Educators Can Support Students Interested in STEM Courses
Students interested in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) aren’t in abundance; young learners who gravitate toward business and the many forms of art easily outnumber them. The imbalance has prompted large organizations to make a move and spark interest in STEM because this field needs new blood in order to bring about great developments to the world.
Three years ago, Verizon launched a program encouraging young girls to grow their love for STEM. It was timely as it was already a huge concern that the number of young people opting to study STEM courses in college was dwindling;, however, the low number of females in such courses was an even more unsettling matter.
This program not only aimed to address the gender gap in the field, but also to empower young women to take their place in these areas and elevate outcomes with their natural meticulous side, creativity, and strong instinct to help others.
The organization recognized that science presents the perfect opportunity for empowerment since it is focused on discovering solutions to many of today’s biggest concerns. That’s why it was imperative to support young people’s interest in STEM studies.
If your children or students are inclined toward STEM, you should do the same. It’s essential to provide them as much support as possible so their interest would grow. After all, their work in the future may be instrumental in introducing the changes that mankind so badly needs.
As a Parent or Teacher, How Can You Help?
1. Sit down and talk.
The act of reaching out and expressing your interest in what motivates students is the best type of emotional support. Letting them excitedly share why they like those fields of study, and then assuring them that you’ll help them in any way you can, will give them the courage to move forward despite the challenges up ahead.
2. Be proactive in demonstrating support to any program that encourages interest in STEM studies.
After-school club activities, initiatives to expose students to situations wherein expert knowledge in STEM are demonstrated, the development of research centers and other facilities for further studies and increased understanding – all these could use the support of parents and educators. Showing interest in these provisions can cultivate passion in young people and encourage them to become more involved in the community they want to contribute to developing someday.
3. Encourage knowledge sharing.
Transferring knowledge is one of the most powerful methods in growing passion for something. When you have a child or student who gets excited about learning new mathematical or scientific principles, it’s best to regularly create situations that will allow him to share his enthusiasm and know-how.
If your family’s a member of a church, for example, suggest a study group. Meanwhile, in school, invite these high performing students to remedial classes and give them free rein over activities to make learning both effective and fun.
4. Set an appointment with a college consultant.
Have the young student meet with a college consultant who can thoroughly discuss the courses that are most suitable to his interest and career dreams. This session often proves to be enlightening and it can help place him on the path he should be taking.
5. Present supplemental learning opportunities.
Teachers can look into learning programs offered locally and internationally that will grow the knowledge of students who are interested in studying STEM courses in college, and present them to the students and their parents. These programs will not only benefit the young ones intellectually, according to an international student consultant, but the other experiences attached to these programs can also help mold the student to become a better person.
6. Be a mentor.
Teachers can serve as mentors who can lead young people toward success in the STEM field. Spending more time with promising students to teach techniques and processes for mastery, can build confidence that is necessary for success in STEM studies.
Young people interested in STEM courses are not a common breed, so if you’re a parent or teacher, you would be doing the world a lot of good to shower any child interested in STEM (and even other fields of study) with tremendous support. Your support is a valuable investment toward the improvement of life for future generations.
Brian Giroux is an admissions advisor and co-founder of Capital College Consulting. Follow him on Twitter (@Admissions_Help) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/CapitalCollegeConsulting).