In our constantly growing world and economy, the role of engineers is continuing to rise at a rapid rate. Engineering is an essential part of our society’s continued expansion. In order to continue to produce quality engineers with innovative mindsets, we have to find ways to get kids interested in engineering. This early interest is what leads to students pursuing degrees and careers in engineering as they grow up.
In this article, we will talk about how to get kids interested in engineering through these methods:
Engineering may be an abstract concept to kids, with most of them never exposed to it. Yet, by explaining and providing examples of what engineering is and how it impacts the world around them, they can better grasp its importance. This deeper understanding can generate interest in one or more sectors of the industry; in turn, sparking educational curiosity to explore engineering deeper.
Watch Engineering Videos Aimed at Kids
Kids have grown up in a time when technology is a major contributor to their daily lives and education. YouTube and other educational video platforms can be a great way for your kid to learn about engineering. This form of education can be utilized both at home by parents or by teachers in a traditional classroom setting.
Below are some videos and Channels to get your kid naturally curious about engineering:
- Crash Course Kids
- Science and Engineering Education Compilation for Kids – Planets, Airplanes, and More!
- Veritasium (These videos are more in-depth and would be great for older children with a more advanced idea of engineering).
Show Real Life Examples
Engineering is a very tangible STEM profession, with real-world applications and examples everywhere. Giving kids examples that they can see and engage with is great for their comprehension of engineering and also leads to more interest around the ‘why’.
One great example to share with your kid/kids is Walt Disney Imagineering. This program shows the engineering and innovation behind the experience your kids and family have had at Disneyland and Disney World. This is a great example to get your kids excited about engineering and show them the behind-the-scenes engineering of something they can see in real life.
Another example you can share with your kid is the engineering behind bridges. You can show them examples near your home and also reference more well-known bridges, such as the Golden Gate or Brooklyn bridge. This example shows kids that engineering plays a big role in our everyday lives, even if we aren’t actively noticing or thinking about it.
Show Video Game Examples
Most kids love video games. They spend a good amount of time playing either alone or with their friends. It is an often discussed topic among parents about how to get their kids to get off of their screens and get outside. However, there are ways to make video games educational!
There are many video games that can turn your kid into an engineer introducing them to the Engineering Design Process (EDP). This can be a way to get your kids interested in engineering in an environment where they are familiar and comfortable.
Here are some video games that have engineering concepts:
- Animal Crossing
To see a more comprehensive list of engineering video games, click here.
Enroll Them in Engineering Camp
Afterschool and summer camps are a great way to get your child engaged in STEM education in a fun environment. Being around kids of a similar age with like-interests can be a big motivator in kids wanting to learn more about a subject. Enrolling your child in an engineering camp will help them progress in their STEM education while also gaining soft skills.
Camps create a collaborative environment that allows kids to learn through doing rather than seeing. This is a proven tactic to increase retention and comprehension of a subject. If you are a parent wanting to get your kid interested in engineering, camps are a great introduction to the subject or a way to engage your already passionate kid.
Get Hands-on with Interactive Engineering Games & Activities
Hands-on learning is an extremely successful teaching method, especially in STEM education. Starting at a young age, there are many ways to introduce your kid to engineering and get them excited about learning. Many of these hands-on methods are fun and make kids feel like they are playing, which leads to increased engagement.
An example of a hands-on method to get your kid interested in engineering is Legos. Using Legos can be a great way to spend 1:1 time with your kids while turning them into an engineer who can create, problem solve and build creations of their own.
For Older Children – Find Them a Mentor
Regardless of interest, having a mentor can make a monumental difference in navigating next steps and major decisions. If your child is interested in engineering, finding them a qualified, passionate mentor is a great way to help them succeed in their education and potential future career as an engineer.
Oftentimes, young adults know what they are passionate about but don’t know how it relates to the workforce. Your child having a mentor who can help them narrow their passion and find out what engineering means to them will help them succeed in the future.
Engineering Kits & Gifts
If your kid or a kid close to you is passionate about engineering, buying them kits and gifts they can use at home is a great way to help them continue their education. Bringing learning outside of the classroom allows them to learn at their own pace taking the time they need to understand and comprehend the curriculum.
The STEM Sports® All-Star Kit is a subscription model that delivers several STEM-related and sports-infused lessons over the course of 12 months. Each box includes science, technology, engineering, or math lessons that relate to sports. This subscription focuses on child-led learning that gets them active and excited about their education. This kit and similar options make great gifts for children who are passionate about engineering and other STEM concepts. They can also be utilized by parents trying to find out how to get their kids interested in STEM.
How to Get Kids Interested in STEM through Sports
STEM Sports® is committed to providing quality STEM education to K-8 students through the use of sports. By using sports as a facilitator of STEM, our company is giving students real-world examples of how what they are learning connects to things we see in the world around us.
In STEM Golf, students are tasked with thinking like an engineer to create their own pushcart. This allows them to work in the Engineering Design Process (EDP) and problem solve both on their own and with their classmates to design the most functional cart. All of our curricula focus on the collaboration piece of learning in order to help students develop their skills in and out of the classroom.
STEM Sports® introduces the unique opportunity to create a group environment where students are staying physically active during each lesson. If you are interested in getting your kids involved in engineering, click here to learn more about STEM Sports® current offerings.