How to support STEM learning at home
As the global economy becomes increasingly driven by data, digital technologies and innovation, there’s a growing demand for employees trained in STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
In fact, international research indicates that 75 per cent of the fastest-growing occupations require STEM skills and knowledge, while employment in STEM occupations is projected to grow at almost twice the pace of other jobs.^
Despite this need, Australia’s STEM sector is struggling to find qualified employees.* This may be attributed to a high number of students opting out of, or performing poorly in, STEM subjects due to a lack of interest or inadequate education programs.**
STEM education gives your child the opportunity to not only build their future, but that of our country as well. By studying STEM, your child can bolster Australia’s STEM skills pipeline, developing skills that will make them more attractive to future employers and better equipped to manage daily life.
Preparing our kids of today for the jobs of tomorrow
As parents of the leaders of tomorrow, we want to equip you with simple tools that will help you further inspire your child’s STEM education outside the classroom and at home.
The most valuable support you can offer your child is encouraging curiosity, creative thinking and problem solving. Simple conversations with your child can be started with questions like:
- Why did this happen?
- How do you think that works?
- What do you think might happen?
And there are plenty of opportunities to do this. That’s because STEM isn’t just about professors and blackboards… it’s everywhere. All you have to do is look around to see STEM at work. It’s ingrained in many facets of life. At the same time, there’s a lot more to STEM than equations and technology. Some researchers, thought leaders and academics argue that STEM, in reality, is a way of viewing and interacting with the world with an enquiring mind.
If you’d like to help your children embrace STEM, here are some simple examples to get started.
Building blocks and construction toys
Great resources available
With a world of online resources available, supported by fast broadband such as via the nbn™ broadband access network, we encourage parents to use the internet to support their child’s STEM education at home or in the local library. There’s an array of great resources available at the click of a mouse. Check out these examples to help enhance your child’s STEM learning.
Your child’s mind is bound to be inquisitive and full of questions, so if you’re ever unsure about a question, you can always Google it. Who knows, you may learn something yourself!
The above are examples of simple things you can do to encourage and build your child’s STEM skills. This encouragement could be all it takes to set your child on a rewarding STEM-focused career path.
* Future-proofing Australia’s workforce by growing skills in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) /April 2015
** Roslyn Prinsley & Krisztian Baranyai, 'Stem skills in the workforce: What do employers want?', Occasional Paper Series, Issue 9, March 2015, Office of the Chief Scientist