Toronto has been ranked one of the top hubs for tech innovation. It is #6 in KPMG Global Technology Innovation Report. This means, in the near future, we will see a lot more growth, new companies and innovation. There are already over 4000 start-ups! Toronto’s rich multi-culturalism and available high-skilled workers have made it attractive to companies like Uber, Google Brain and Deep Mind already.
Now, this isn’t just all just for adults. Tech, makerspaces and STEM accessibility for kids in the city have also increased alongside this growth. There are more and more science, technology, engineering and math resources available for kids. There are many kids’ STEM activities right here in Toronto.
See how your child can explore STEM right in your own backyard!
Image from https://www.ripleyaquariums.com/canada/programs/stingray-experience
Kid’s Day at a Museum
Toronto is filled with great museums and many of them have dedicated kid’s day or workshops on Saturdays and Sundays. Visit the Royal Ontario Museum to learn about biodiversity, nature and dinosaurs or Ripley’s Aquarium to see what life underwater is like. We love these two museums because they are hands-on (try snorkelling with stingrays!), great for all ages and kids can learn about the science and nature around them. Don’t forget to check out the calendar at the Ontario Science Museum! They have a wide array of child-centric programming, like Sensory-Friendly Saturday and Junior Skywatchers.
Discover engines and engineering by visiting the Toronto Railway Museum. Kids can learn about transportation in the city, history of transportation and how trains work. They can even take part in the train simulator and become an engineer!
Video from http://makerfestival.ca/
STEM Events all Over the City
There are many STEM-related events run by the city, schools and private organizations. You may want to check your school for their own STEM or Science Day. Maker Festival is on July 7 and 8 this year and is great no matter how old you are. You can spend the whole weekend perusing what’s new in 3D printing, robotics and design. Stop by the MakerKids booth for hand’s on coding and robotics too! Spend Doors Open Toronto (May 26-27) together and explore architectural wonders and STEM businesses, like University of Toronto’s McLennan Physical Laboratories. Many provide architectural and engineering tours.
Visit a Makerspace
You can find dedicated makerspaces for varied interests, from coding to building. Several Toronto Public Libraries have makerspaces, innovation hubs and 3D printers. Check out their calendar for events! Arrange a tour at our makerspace on Jane and Bloor to check out our inspiration station, coding and robotics equipment.
Image from http://www.highparktoronto.com/nature.php
Join a Scavenger Hunt in a Neighbourhood Park
There are many parks and parkettes. Go outside and create your own scavenger hunt and identify different plants and trees. Evergreen Brickworks has a great nature-based scavenger hunt. High Park can also double as a zoology trip by visiting the zoo. We love visiting our neighbourhood park, Etienne Brule, during our camps and PA days. Don’t want to travel too far? You can conduct your own mini scavenger hunt and nature activities with balcony gardens and indoor plants.
Image from http://repaircafetoronto.ca/
Build Something Together
Need to fix something? Use that as an opportunity to take apart and build something with your child. The Repair Cafe is a great resource for fixing anything from clothing to small appliances. Check out their meetups, where their team of volunteers can help you fix your broken item. Similarly, Bike Pirates can help you tune up and fix your bike. Kids can take a look at how things are built and how to take them apart. This is a fun hands-on activity you and your child can do together, and learn new skills and save something from the landfill!
Is your child looking for more in-depth activities and really skyrocket their passion for STEM? STEM-based after-school programs and clubs encourage on-going learning and longterm development. There are many types to explore too – coding, robotics, video game making, design and electronics to name a few! We host free trial classes throughout the year for grades one through eight. You can try one or all of our core topics (robotics, coding or Minecraft). Call us to book a spot (416-385-3577).
This is a great time to get your kids involved (and yourself) in STEM. Toronto has a lot of activities to offer. Kids can create more than they ever thought they could.