Bite-size STEM #1 – How to Encourage Curiosity at Home

A boat created from a paper bowl, straws, and paper for the sails in STEM Inquiry's Science Explorers class.

A boat doesn't have to be fancy, but it has to float! Structures of all types are built by young Science Explorers in zoom classes.

Hello Parents, 
Welcome to Bite-Size STEM, the quarterly newsletter from STEM Inquiry with tips and resources to spark children's curiosity about science!  Imagine it’s a winter weekend and your child is looking for something to do that’s engaging and fun. Here are three ways to set up a supportive environment for your child to explore anytime, no matter what the season.

An "at-home" set up for curious young learners should include:
  • A place: It’s time to set up a “STEM Hub” in your home. It could be a corner of a room, or a crate on wheels that lives in the closet and is pulled out for exploration. Or maybe it’s a shoe box. A STEM Hub is a place to keep tools and materials for exploring, so your child can take their questions and ideas to the next step, and start investigating with materials, like scientists do.
  • The stuff: Collect some common, everyday materials in your STEM Hub to spark your child’s spirit for inventing: trays with sides, lids of all sizes, masking tape, play dough, glue sticks, paper clips, child’s scissors, different types of paper, cardboard tubes, and other recycled materials.
  • A journal: Have a blank, unruled notebook for your child to draw, sketch, and jot down ideas and questions as they are exploring. You can make your own by stapling some folded copy paper together.

Encourage curiosity! Ask Your Child: What good questions did you ask today? 

Instead of the usual, “How was your day?” routine, try asking, “What good questions did you ask today?" as a parenting experiment, and see if it opens up deeper conversations with your child, while celebrating their curiosity.

Bite-size STEM Idea to Try Together: Float Your Boat

  • How can you make a boat out of recycled materials?
  • What happens when you try to float your boat in the bathtub (or pot of water)?
  • What are you curious about?

Interested in more Hands-on Science/STEM explorations in a weekly class with other young learners who spark each other’s ideas? Find out more about STEM Inquiry Hands-on Virtual Science Series by clicking here. The NEW Fall 2021 Series starts September 20th. See Class schedule!

Stay Curious!

Stephanie Rose, Director, STEM Inquiry

PS: Have questions? Contact me here.

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