Families play an essential role in raising awareness of the value of science and STEM. They are a key factor in encouraging participation in activities that build interest and skills in science. The research has supported this idea for over 20 years. The report A New Wave of Evidence: The Impact of School, Family, and Community Connections on Student Achievement states, “…when families of all backgrounds are engaged in their children’s learning, their children tend to do better in school, stay in school longer, and pursue higher education.”
Ideas for Science & STEM Family Engagement
Schools can host events like science fairs and STEM nights that encourage families to participate in science learning. There are some community organizations that will introduce professionals in fields relating to science and STEM to students from their local high schools. They’ll sometimes even allow the students to shadow them for a day.
In addition, some organizations host career fairs or special events where families can bring their children to meet scientists and trades folk and learn about their careers. Local colleges, museums, and libraries will put on events that bring families together to connect with science and STEM topics. Schools could even send home science or STEM kits that encourage families to participate in science learning together.
Here are a few of our favorite products to support families in nurturing science learning at home.
There are many ways families can be involved and engaged in science learning. When schools create a partnership with families, they can help cultivate the necessary skills in our youth to become scientifically literate and informed citizens. With the right encouragement, this may lead some of them to choose a career path in science and STEM.
Naomi Hartl graduated from the University of Saskatchewan and started teaching in her home province of Saskatchewan, Canada. She has taught a variety of subject areas including biology, mathematics, health education, physical education, home economics, and career education. In 2015, she relocated to Oregon, USA, to work with School Specialty and has worked in curriculum development and writing with the company and is now the Science and STEM Subject Matter Expert. Working with School Specialty has allowed her to pursue her dream of making a difference in the lives of teachers and students by curating solutions to create safe, equitable, and successful learning programs.
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