STEM Development Foundation Parent Resource Center
Our Parent Resource Center is currently under construction. Here are a few links to get you started with STEM materials to pique your child’s interest in science, technology, engineering and math!
USAGov’s Apps to Download in 2018
- NASA – An app for space enthusiasts. This app is home to all things NASA, including images, videos on-demand, mission information, ISS sighting opportunities, satellite tracking, and more. (iOS, Android)
Aesop for Children – This interactive book app is designed for readers of every age. The app contains more than 140 classic fables which remain popular for moral education of children. (Android, iOS)
- HUD Resource Locator – This is an easy to use app that helps users discover commonly requested federal housing resources within their community. Get information on many housing HUD programs, directly contact specific resource providers, and more. (iOS, Android)
- USPS – Access tools on the go with the USPS Mobile® app. Calculate shipping prices, find a Post Office™, look up a ZIP Code™, schedule a next-day pickup, request USPS to hold your mail, and more. (iOS, Android)
Safer Ride – the simplest possible way to get home safe and only has three self-explanatory buttons on the Home screen. (IOS, Android)
- FEMA app – This app is your one-stop-shop with tools and tips to keep you safe before, during, and after disasters. Get tips on what to do before, during, and after for more 20 types of disasters. Locate shelters and find out where to contact FEMA at disaster recovery centers. (iOS, Android)
3 Ways to Get Girls Interested in STEM
In an increasingly digital economy, science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills are becoming extremely sought-after in the job market.
Unfortunately, there is still a gender gap in the current number of young women holding STEM degrees: Women earn only approximately 35 percent of the undergraduate degrees in science, technology, engineering and math, even though they account for almost 60 percent of college degrees.
Because of this trend, education around STEM subjects is becoming a priority offering among schools in order to distinguish themselves and provide students with a valuable education.
Parents, too, can have a powerful and dramatic impact outside the classroom by fostering girls’ interest in STEM to help them develop a lasting passion for these subjects and activities.
Consider these three tips to promote and encourage interest in STEM outside of the classroom.
STEM in Scouting… click on the Cool Stuff link for a collection of resources such as links to NASA, Mythbusters and more!
Drawing from peer-reviewed research in science, cognition, and pedagogy, Good Thinking!, a new original animated series by the Smithsonian Science Education Center and FableVision Studios, distills valuable findings from hard-to-access journal articles to promote effective classroom practices. The short-format, endlessly replayable videos provide a free, durable, on-demand professional development resource for science educators and lifelong learners of all ages.
Some lucky kids know early on the type of work they want to pursue. And for others, there’s CareerOneStop. Its Students and Career Advisors section can help teens:
- assess their passions and abilities
- discover work options that may be right for them
- learn which fields are likely to have job openings
- find the right school or training program
- land an internship, apprenticeship or job
Want more? Check out Kids.gov/Parents and the Kids.gov A-Z list of jobs:
A site dedicated to helping children succeed “with curiosity, creativity, and persistence,” Curiosity Machine provides hands-on engineering design challenges. Through the act of building, they believe kids learn not only how something works, but why. Kids get to try new ideas, learn from mistakes and find solutions. Watch a video introduction to Curiosity Machine.
- Parents: connect to your child’s account and learn how to build together
- Educators: find resources for engineering challenges and track student progress
- Mentors: guide students as they build engineering design challenges
Research has shown many of the toys, games and books that support engineering learning are more often purchased for boys than for girls. Through the Engineering Gift Guide, the INSPIRE Research Institute for Pre-College Engineering is raising public awareness of the many toys, games and books that promote engineering learning… and are fun for both boys and girls.
This is the second year INSPIRE has put together the Gift Guide and it’s filled with more than 50 toy suggestions intended to engage both girls and boys as young as three years old — all promoting STEM education. It also contains a list of 30 books with stories and facts about engineering.
Be sure to watch the video about the gift-giving guide.
The 240-Year-Old Writing Automaton
Could this be “the world’s most astonishing surviving automaton”? Created by Swiss watchmaker Pierre Jaquet-Droz, the doll is a 240-year-old machine that is able to write custom text and possesses eyes that follow the letters he is programmed to write. With over 6,000 parts, it is an amazing piece of technology miniaturized and placed inside a mechanical boy… in the 18th century. Watch the video to learn more about the doll, a distant cousin of the modern programmable computer. (You can find the doll at the Musée d’Art et d’Histoire of Neuchâtel, in Switzerland.)
Parents, you don’t have to have all the answers to engage your kids in STEM topics… click here for a collection of resources such as links to Microsoft, Discovery Education, and more!
The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) has released a number of free resources to help parents support their children in science learning in the upcoming school year. Parents can use the NSTA resources to learn about science education standards and find out ways to become involved at home and in school… Click here to learn more!