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How to help your child get a head start in STEM (even if you know nothing about coding!)

Just a little while ago, STEM skills were mostly being considered essential for future engineers and scientists. Today, most jobs involve some use of technology, and familiarity with coding and data handling can open many doors to successful career paths.

But what if you’re a not a tech aficionado yourself? You can still support your child in exploring the world of STEM, and it’s never too early to get started!

Coding helps kids as young as four develop 21st-century skills proven to boost their performance in ALL subjects.

Here’s what you can do to set your child on the path of STEM success:

1. Introduce science role models

You don’t have to be a mathematician to introduce your child to great figures of science. From Albert Einstein to Maria Sklodowska-Curie, to inspiring African-American women at NASA like dr. Christyl Johnson, learning about real-life examples of STEM excellence will inspire your child to reach for more in their own learning.

Examples of inspiring STEM professionals are all around us, and they’re ever-present in media and movies. “Hidden Figures” drama made headlines last year for shining the light on mathematicians working at NASA. Credit: arstechnica.com

2. Learning programming through play

Learning coding without realizing it? That’s when the real magic happens.

The best learning tools captivate your child’s imagination while exploring important learning concepts along the way.

CodeSpark Academy‘s innovative approach to coding education won the app a golden Parents’ Choice Award. Their interactive puzzles teach little learners the basics of computer science. Once your mini coder masters the puzzles, they can progress to creating games of their own.

3. No Need to Read

If you think that age four is too early to start learning to programme, think again. The Foos are adorable creatures that teach your child through vivid visuals – so any kid can pick it right up. Your child could be a coder even before they become a proficient reader!

4. STEM examples are all around us

Everyday activities such as cooking, shopping or taking a walk outside offer a wealth of science-related examples. Why should you melt butter if you want the cookies to be chewy? Why toast burns? There isn’t a science lesson more delectable than Candy Chemistry!

An arty child might be interested in discovering that music is tightly related to maths, so look for things they are already interested in and explore ways of relating them to STEM concepts.

This post has been created in partnership with CodeSpark Academy. CodeSpark Academy is supporting ClassTag classrooms this season, donating funds that will help pay for essential classroom supplies and activities for thousands of students across the country. Learn more here.

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