The academic field of STEM (short for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) is more stimulating than ever. STEM classes can be challenging, especially as new innovations and opportunities emerge. Getting your child involved in STEM-focused extracurricular activities – like building robots or joining a math team – can encourage them to take on STEM subjects in a fun, exciting and stress-free way. Here are five ways STEM-focused extracurriculars can build your child’s future.
1. It Sets Them Up for Success
STEM-focused extracurricular activities can boost your child’s ability to get into college. According to a study from Texas A&M University, students who pursued STEM clubs and science fair competitions “outperformed the national average” for post-secondary admissions. Additionally, participation in STEM-focused extracurricular activities was found to be positively related with students choosing a post-secondary STEM major. This shows that not only will students have a higher likelihood of attending college, but they may also continue to pursue STEM beyond high school.
2. It Helps Them Discover Something New
Today, it may seem like we can learn everything there is to know about the world from social media and the internet. Plus, there is more pressure than ever to succeed at whatever you do. Having your child physically experience new things while they’re growing up is an essential part of helping them learn. With STEM-focused extracurricular activities, students can discover new, exciting ways to enjoy STEM without the pressure of a classroom setting.
3. It Builds Problem-Solving Skills
STEM-focused extracurricular activities like science competitions are a great way for your child to build problem-solving skills in an encouraging environment. Science Olympiad, for example, has many competitions and activities dedicated to solving problems and situations with science and engineering skills. Often, your child doesn’t even need to have demonstrated interest in STEM in order to participate.
4. It Provides a Safe Space for Exploration
Many people have no idea what they want to be when they graduate. With STEM-focused extracurriculars, however, your peers can encourage you to explore the field before you even start high school. That helps children get started in something they might be hesitant to pursue elsewhere out of fear of failure. STEM extracurriculars are a safe space for your child to build confidence and unleash creativity in a STEM setting, all while having fun.
5. It Makes the World a Better Place
While any career can help to improve the planet, STEM-focused careers present an opportunity to build technologies and make discoveries that can alter the course of humankind. By pursuing STEM-focused extracurricular activities like clubs working to save plant and ocean life, test water that might be contaminated or build incredible inventions that change people’s lives, your child can take the first steps toward doing their part toward creating a better world.
Interested in going into STEM research, or learning more about its benefits? Check out CITGO Innovation Academy’s high school program in Corpus Christi, Texas. The academy helps prepare students for college programs and future careers in STEM fields. Students that complete the program may receive 12-30 hours of college credit. For more information about the program, visit the CITGO Innovation Academy at https://moody.ccisd.us/academies-moody/citgo-innovation-stem-academy or call (361) 878-7340.
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