Written by IEEE | May 24, 2021 | Updated: June 21, 2022
Pandemic-required remote learning had many parents juggling teaching and parenting on top of their careers. As summer approaches, parents can use all the help they can get to keep their children stimulated and engaged.
While many parents might anticipate eye rolls from their children at the idea of learning over the summer, keeping the brain active is critical to the development of a healthy, curious mind. From toddlers to teens, IEEE can help parents plan enjoyable experiences that spark young minds’ curiosity through the exploration and application of technological principles.
With that in mind, here are three IEEE resources to help keep children engaged this summer break:
1. TryEngineering Lesson Plan Toolkit Library
Knowing where to start is often the hardest aspect when considering at-home summer programming for your child. Fortunately, there are resources that can ease the burden and ensure a well-rounded approach to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) learning.
“At TryEngineering.org, parents can find hundreds of lesson plans that can be used to inspire their kids to engage with STEM activities, following a simple step-by-step guide that does not require any technical background and that only needs household materials,” says IEEE Senior Member Lorena Garcia, IEEE Educational Activities Board Pre-University Education Coordinating Committee Chair.
The best part is that these complete lesson plans align with educational standards, so you can feel confident that what your child is learning is relevant to their required schoolwork. In addition to the lesson plans, check out the Engineering Lesson Plan Toolkit for additional resources on the most popular lesson plans including videos and slide decks.
There are a variety of lesson plans which cover exciting topics like “the power of flight” and “robotic arms.” Don’t worry — you don’t need a Ph.D. or any fancy materials to get started. Just bring a level of excitement that will rub off on your curious student. Who knows, you may learn some interesting new things too.
2. Volunteer STEM Portal
As your student gets older, they may get antsy to get out of the house. Turns out, there’s no better way to engage your child than by engaging with the community. Learn what is happening in your local STEM community and the STEM community at large and find new ways to engage your child.
Enter the IEEE STEM Portal, an online pre-university STEM hub that provides everything you need to know about engaging in STEM outreach and building your local STEM community. The portal provides a variety of resources, including a map and feed of IEEE pre-university STEM events, STEM programs with how-to guides, and resources to help you create engaging and effective STEM learning experiences. It also features exciting outreach programs that are tailored for every need and interest, like STEM fairs, workshops, career days and more.
The STEM portal leverages the reach of IEEE’s global communities and volunteers in order to engage as many students as possible with thousands of pre-university STEM activities every year across the globe. It’s a perfect way to find new horizon-expanding activities you and your child can get involved in.
3. TryEngineering Tuesdays
It is important for STEM-oriented students to gain an understanding of the various disciplines before heading to college so they can make informed decisions when it comes time to pick a university and field of study.
A great resource is TryEngineering Tuesday, a pre-university student guide and webinar series on TryEngineering.org that features career pathways and technical topics in partnership with an IEEE Technical Society.
The website provides an ever-changing range of topics for students to explore, such as oceanic engineering, aerospace and photonics. Engaging webinars seek to inspire students to learn more about STEM disciplines and narrow down the areas in which they are interested.
As your child explores the individual topics, they can earn badges to track their progress and keep them coming back for more. Challenge them to collect them all and rest easy knowing your student is knowledgeable about their options as they begin to consider higher learning and career moves.
Looking for more opportunities to keep your student busy this summer? Check out these other great resources: