As parents, we all know that there are a lot of distractions out there. Some are positive (my kids love American Ninja Warrior and I can't really complain; the message there is if you work hard you can accomplish anything). Some are not as positive (I can think of a million examples here but I don't want to call out anyone!)
But the reality is that there is so much to admire in this incredible world! From the amazing plants, flowers, insects and animals to the beautiful sky full of stars and planets. We can't forget the invisible forces that help an airplane fly or that determine how far (and in what direction) you have to throw a football so someone else can catch it. Finally, there is all of the amazing innovation around us - wheeled chariots that take us to work and school, personal communicators that allow us to reach out to nearly anyone, anywhere at anytime or allow us to read amazing blog posts!
STEM is all around us! We may not realize it everyday but all of these wonders fall somewhere on the spectrum of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math! As kids, we were amazed by them. As parents, we can often be intimidated. With all of this wonder around us, it is important for us to be there for our kids to help them recognize, admire and learn from the world around us.
We have access to resources our parents didn't have when we were growing up. Even if it isn't always the best resource, we can use those "personal communicators" to go online and answer our children's questions. But there are also amazing tools out there that we can do together with our children to get them interested in science and engineering early.
Julie Kantor - President & CEO of TWOMENTOR and a Senior Advisor at STEMConnector (a thinktank that works with major corporations on STEM policy initiatives), put together a great list of resources over on Huffington Post for parents of both girls and boys to help parents comfortably engage with their children in STEM education outside the classroom.
Yes, it can be hard to combat the influences of princesses and pirates, but parents shouldn't be intimidated by science, technology, engineering and math. We just need to know where to look.