10 STEM Activities You Can Do with Your Daughter
Regular involvement in STEM activities can make a massive difference not only in terms of the skills and knowledge children have but also how motivated they are to engage in STEM subjects. This is especially true for girls.
Why Are STEM Activities Important for Girls
Girls are exponentially more likely to lose interest in STEM subjects by the time they reach high school. As a result, men outnumber women in STEM occupations. This is not optimal for our future.
STEM jobs aren’t only some of the highest paying ones in the job market. They are also predicted to be the most demanded ones in the future.
The technological advancements that we’re currently making as a society are going to render many of the current jobs unnecessary. Thus, by limiting the exposure of girls to STEM activities, we’re potentially setting our daughters up for a very disadvantageous future.
In addition to that, we are doing a disservice to the entire global economy. Not addressing the lack of women in STEM is increasing the surplus of unfilled STEM positions and preventing us from earning an additional $12 trillion of global GMP by 2025.
By the time women reach adulthood, they grow to be intimidated by science, engineering, technology, and computers. Therefore, in order to retain girls’ interest in STEM and bridge the STEM gap, we should start integrating STEM activities early.
And it doesn’t mean that we need to rely on teachers to do that. There are plenty of science-related activities that parents can do with their daughters and keep their interest in STEM strong.
10 Simple STEM Activities to Do with Your Daughter
One of the primary reasons why STEM subjects become intimidating is that we grow to believe that there is no use for them in real life. In actuality, we do science-related activities on a daily basis. Involving our daughters in them from early childhood can change the course of their future.
Even if your daughter decides not to pursue a STEM career, these activities can teach her plenty of valuable skills.
1. Do Science Experiments
Both physical and online stores offer plenty of STEM-related toys that allow you to perform experiments. However, you don’t necessarily need to buy any. There are plenty of activities that you can do with your daughter without buying expensive toys.
One of the easiest ways of finding science experiment idea is through Pinterest. Install the app on your smartphone and do a search for your child’s age group, for instance, “science experiments for preschoolers,” “science activities for girls, ” and so on.
Once you like a number of such posts, Pinterest will automatically show related pins. Thus, you’ll regularly get new science experiment ideas in your feed.
Cooking may seem like a mundane duty, and you may not always feel excited about. Yet, for a child, it can be a wonderful learning experience. Just think about it. You can take a few simple ingredients and create something completely new and delicious out of it.
Depending on your daughter’s age, you can vary the complexity of the recipes as well as how much she is responsible for. For younger children, you can pre-measure ingredients and let them combine and mix them. If your daughter is older, let her count ingredients such as eggs or measure others such as flour using a scale.
Take it a step further and explain what happens when water boils, why you should melt butter to make cookies, how baking soda works, and more.
3. Ask and Answer Questions
As parents, we know that children can ask many questions. We advise you to keep answering them even though you may not feel like it. This will encourage your daughter to keep her curiosity and not be afraid to ask questions if she doesn’t know something.
You won’t always know the answer, but there’s nothing wrong with that. Show your daughter how you would handle such a situation. Admit that you don’t know or are unsure of the answer and invite your daughter to look it up together with you.
Your daughter doesn’t have to be the one asking the questions. You can too. This will encourage her to solve puzzles and investigate.
Reading with children can be an excellent bonding experience. It can also shape the outlook and personality of your daughter. Choose science-related books or books about scientists.
Since one of the main reasons why we don’t have more women in STEM is a lack of female role models, books such as Women in Science can give girls the inspiration they need to pursue their interest in STEM.
5. Go to Museums
Museums don’t have to be boring if you show that it’s possible to learn many interesting things there. You can visit science museums and check temporary exhibitions in other local museums. These can provide interesting insights on how things work
6. Use Money
Just like cooking, using money is an everyday task we don’t give much thought. For a child, however, this can be a great learning activity. Since STEM involves math and many girls tend to dislike math, teaching your daughter how to use money can demonstrate the practicality of math.
7. Watch Science-related Movies and TV Shows
If you feel like watching TV is a waste of time, perhaps you can change the type of movies and TV shows that your child watches. These can be science shows, cartoons, documentaries, and similar. Watching shows like Mythbusters, How Stuff Works, and Bill Nye, the Science Guy can be great STEM activities for both children and parents alike.
8. Take Old Things Apart
If you’ve always wondered how that old TV in the basement or your broken smartphone is made, taking those apart can turn into great activities to get your daughter comfortable with STEM.
9. Let Your Child Assist You
Planning a DIY project or willing to fix something? Those can be great activities to show your daughter how STEM skills can be used in real life. They can also improve her problem-solving skills.
Let your daughter read a manual while you’re setting up a new device or assembling a piece of furniture. If your daughter is older, don’t be afraid to teach your daughter how to use tools as long as you monitor and she is safe, of course.
10. Use Your Phone (in a Smart Way)
Our children learn about the world from watching and imitating us. Do you spend lots of time surfing through Facebook or Instagram? Then don’t be surprised that your daughter ends up doing that too.
Instead, you can use your smartphone to learn. If you have a question that you don’t know the answer to, use your phone to look up the answer to it. Or if your daughter is learning something, you can search for a related video to teach her something more on the subject.
Which of these activities will you try next? What other STEM activities can you add to the list? Perhaps, you have more suggestions? Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and share those with us!