Homeschooling     Hot Topics     K-12     Education Guide    

5 ways to get kids excited about STEM learning

The country needs more good scientists

5 ways to get kids excited about STEM learning

The events of the past couple of years have shown how important scientists are to making the world a better and safer place.

According to an independent research study, 91% of people believe that scientists are critical for our future well-being, and 89% say that science brings hope for the future. Here are five ways to get kids, the next generation of scientists, excited about STEM.

1. Widen access. All kids should have access to STEM education opportunities, at school and outside of the classroom, whether it’s through an after-school program, science camp, competition, or at home. Fortunately, online learning tools have made it possible for more children to access such programs. Today, there is a wide variety of free resources available to families and students looking to expand STEM learning outside of the classroom. Websites like and feature fun and engaging projects for grades K-8, along with tools for parents and teachers to guide kids through the experiments.

2. Connect science to something your child already loves. We often think of science in a silo, but the application of science is all around us. Connecting science to something your child already loves can help broaden their conception of what a future in STEM could entail. For example, kids who play sports may be interested in exercise science or sports medicine. Kids who love building toys may find engineering an exciting career path. Introducing kids to science kits, experiments, and other hands-on activities can help fast-track learning, make the subject more fun and engaging, and demonstrate firsthand how science fits into the activities and interests they already love.

3. Promote gender equity in STEM education. Gender should never affect a child’s goal to pursue STEM. Yet, young girls often feel limited in their ability to excel in STEM-related activities due to the gender gap in the sciences and a lack of relatable representation. We can help shift antiquated thinking that science is not for girls by instilling confidence in them to challenge these stereotypes and by exposing them to the valuable work of women inventors, doctors, mathematicians, and scientists, so they can start to see themselves in these positions. Sign them up for extracurriculars like math team and coding camp, visit math and science museums together, and talk about the contributions of and need for girls and women to solve real-world challenges.

4. Diversify STEM. Science is not tied to one gender, race, ethnicity, or nationality. Young kids in minority groups need to understand that they can be involved in STEM careers so that our future workforces reflect our diverse societies.

Shaking up the way we approach science and technology could be one way to help do this. Without a real-world connection, it’s too easy for kids to feel lost or like “this” is not for them. If we expose kids to different career landscapes in ways they can connect to, they can better understand the importance of learning these subjects, build self-awareness around their unique attributes, and open them up to envision themselves in future STEM careers.

5. Bring science to life. Hands-on projects help bring science to life. Look for science competitions and programs that allow young minds to explore and develop real-world experience. For example, the 3M Young Scientist Challenge, a national science competition for students in grades 5 through 8 created with Discovery Education, asks students to identify a problem and come up with a unique innovation to solve it. It can be something they’re already passionate or curious about. The best part is anyone can get involved; all you need is an idea to get started.

Last year’s winner, 13-year-old Sarah Park, started with the idea to create a treatment to help people with mental health disorders. During the competition and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work with a 3M scientist, she went from idea to prototype developing a new solution called Spark Care+, a personalized music therapy treatment that uses artificial intelligence, galvanic skin response, and photoplethysmography.

Bring learning into the real world of innovating by actively presenting STEM learning opportunities to your budding scientist. Learn more about this year’s competition, the chance to win $25,000, and the title of “America’s Top Young Scientist” at

As we confront 21st century challenges like climate change and community health crises, scientists, engineers, and doctors will be the heroes on the frontlines. For a brighter future for everybody, give your child the resources and encouragement needed to pursue STEM.


More Homeschooling

  • Visit cool sculpture parks in the Hudson Valley

    These sculptures are generally huge and sure to please

    Visit fun and educational sculpture gardens in the Hudson Valley. Sculpture Parks and their gardens are a unique way for families to appreciate and enjoy art. The open spaces are wonderful for kids of all ages. Most locations offer space to roam and enable us to enjoy these unique pieces at our own pace. read more »
  • Indoor spots for teens to play

    Older kids need to have some play time too

    Teens need places to go that aren't lame and won't bore them to tears. We have the best in the Valley listed just for you. read more »
  • Everything you need to know about student loans

    Traditional ways of paying for college aren't working

    More American families are borrowing for college. At the same time, merit aid and the use of personal income and savings i falling. read more »
  • 3 ways people of all ages can make the most of International Youth Day

    Celebrate youth activists and combat ageism

    August 12 is International Youth Day, a United Nations effort to celebrate youth activists, combat ageism and help bridge gaps between generations working toward the same change. read more »
  • Everything you should to know about student loans

    Traditional ways of paying for college aren't working

    More American families are borrowing for college. At the same time, merit aid and the use of personal income and savings i falling. read more »
  • 4 ways to get involved this global volunteer month

    It's a good time to get in on the action

    Global Volunteer Month, celebrated throughout April, is a time to recognize people who actively support their communities through volunteerism and active civic engagement. It’s also a time to get in on the action. However, if you’re like many people, you may not know where to begin. read more »
  • Minimize the risk of child identity theft

    NYS Division of Consumer Protection offers advice

    Child Identity Theft is a growing problem. According to recent data from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), identity theft for those under 19 years old grew 60% in three years. read more »
  • 5 reasons why your child should (and can) learn how to play chess

    A revolutionary new game that helps kids learn this game of strategy

    Chess is one of the oldest and most popular games in history, with early forms of the game dating back to the 6th century CE. The game has certainly seen a revival since the pandemic began, as people around the globe have dusted off their chess boards and even binged one of the most-watched series ever inspired by the masterful game for much-needed entertainment. read more »
  • Keep kids learning during summer

    3 fun, easy ways

    With school out, summertime brings long, carefree days of play and fun. With a little thought and a few supplies, summer is a perfect opportunity to revitalize their innate love of learning that may be a bit squashed after a year of academic pressures, tests and schedules. read more »
  • 6 tips to mitigate mental health risks for youth

    The surgeon general highlight the urgent need to address Youth Mental Health Crisis

    Today’s kids are experiencing unprecedented levels of stress and anxiety at home, school and in their communities. The COVID-19 pandemic, which affected kids in all those places, only exacerbated the problem. read more »