[twitter]Zacharie has been messing around a lot on the iPad lately. He’s not so much into Angry Birds and other games, he’s actually doing thinking work on the iPad. He’s building wild worlds in Minecraft and has been programming his own music in Garageband.
While he was pounding away on some loops the other day I asked him which he liked better: using the iPad we have for the boys at home, or the computer he gets to use at school. “I like iPad, dad,” he mumbled, and continued to poke at the screen. He is so almost 8 yrs old.
It made me think about a conversation I heard on Leo Laporte’s TWiT network more than a year ago. Leo and his guests were musing that not only was cursive writing endangered, but keyboards would be as well. Don’t believe me? Look at what’s happened to Blackberry since iPhone came out.
The generation shift has started. The future my kids live in will be vastly different.
I love that I have technical and artistic kids. They’ve got their feet and fingers deep into both worlds and it will serve them well for the future. Giving kids the skills to succeed in the STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering, and math) is going to be crucial moving forward. The careers my boys will have likely haven’t been invented yet, but with an eye to the future, and a chance to embrace technology, they’ll be prepared.
We do science experiments at home, I let them mess around with iPads, we play coding and logic games, and I toss everyday math questions to the boys. Things like: how many screws will I need when I build this garden box? How much will 4 oranges cost?
Summer is a great time to create bridge activities to get your kids excited about STEM. Send them to a science camp, build a computer together, even something like having a birthday party at a science center (Zacharie is going to TELUS Spark) can get them interested in learning STEM skills.
Keeping them open and interested in STEM will be so valuable to their future. Energizer Canada and Walmart are celebrating and showcasing the importance of STEM to Canada’s next generation of thinkers and innovators.
Actua, a national Canadian charity, has shared hands-on STEM activities that are featured by Energizer on its microsite. There are enriching worksheets available online for free to parents to get your kids interested and excited about STEM concepts.
Actua is a registered charity with a twenty-year track record of success in providing hands-on, interactive education enrichment experiences in STEM to Canadian youth aged 6 to 16 years.
You can visit the STEM activity hub to download and print the worksheets to help encourage STEM learning with your children. I grabbed a bunch and had some weekend fun with the boys.
Have a Jedi wannabe at home? Magnet experiments are fun to learn about “the force.”
Even something simple like coloring science related sheets (complete with math problems) can just subtly keep them engaged in the idea of learning more about how and why things work.
Energizer is a large proponent of STEM – using these skills resulted in the new Energizer® EcoAdvancedTM battery, the world’s first battery made with recycled* batteries.
Disclosure: this branded content appears in exchange for a donation to Team Diabetes Canada
*world’s first AA battery made with 4% recycled batteries