Have you ever watched your child try to solve a problem? Whether it’s how to get a toy out of a tight spot or how to figure out math homework, kids can come up with some interesting ways to solve all types of problems. It’s this creativity that leads many of them to become so successful in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) topics.
STEM can be used to real-world challenges and problems. Once kids realize this, they begin to imagine different ways to fix and improve things.
Sometimes kids can have this idea that STEM has to be totally scientific and have no connection to what’s going on around them.But, when they realize that the bridge they go over to get to school was created by engineers and that the phone they use to play games was the result of someone’s technical skills, they begin to understand how STEM works to solve problems.
STEM can be used to practice problem-solving skills in many different ways. We’re going to break those down for you to share with your children so that they can see the importance of STEM in their everyday lives.
Practicing Problem Solving Skills
Even the youngest of children can use STEM to practice problem-solving skills. You just need to start them off slow so that they don’t get overwhelmed and ultimately frustrated to the point that they become disinterested.
Here’s how to get started:
Start Thinking about the Solution and Don’t Focus on the Problem
The problem isn’t going to go anywhere without a solution. So, have your child start thinking of ways to solve the problem. This can get their creativity flowing as they think about different ways to get the job done.
As they start thinking about the solutions, they’ll probably discover multiple ways to solve the problem. This is great because then they can begin to test their theories to see which one works best.
Do Your Homework
We all know kids don’t like the word “homework”, but when it comes to solving problems, you have to put some work in. That may mean looking at how the problem started and maybe even other solutions that haven’t worked. How are they going to do something different that will solve the problem that other people haven’t done before? Once you can get kids on that path, they’ll start coming up with ideas that they can use until they find the best one that works.
Keep it Simple
It’s important to keep it simple when it comes to kids and problem-solving. Sometimes we all tend to make things more complicated than they have to be. When we do this, we hardly ever get to the answer.
Just keep it simple with your kids (and yourself) when it comes to problem-solving. Sometimes the answer is right in front of you but you’re too busy making things complicated to realize it.
How Kids Use STEM to Solve Problems at MakerKids
At MakerKids, children are encouraged to use STEM skills to solve all types of problems. Through our robotics, coding, and Minecraft classes, they are using their skills to make robots, create their own video games, and learn some pretty cool things through Minecraft that they can use in all aspects of their lives.
Through our coding classes, kids learn perseverance when it comes to problem-solving. Do they come up with the right answer their first time around? Generally, no. But, as they persevere and keep at it, they learn that they can make it work and solve the problem in front of them.
Sometimes solving that problem requires teamwork. In their STEM classes, they will learn how other students may have ideas that will make their projects work better than the ideas they come up with. This collaboration is always present in STEM classes as students at MakerKids help each other succeed.
When they have learned how to solve a problem and make their projects work, they earn the confidence of knowing they can do it as they believe in themselves. STEM classes can produce confident kids who go on to make a real difference in the world around them. With some encouragement, hard work, and perseverance, kids can truly work to solve the problems around them.
STEM Classes at MakerKids
If you want to see how STEM classes can help your child solve problems, try a FREE trial class from MakerKids. We offer coding, robotics, and Minecraft classes for children in grades 3-8. Contact us today to get your child started!