STEM EDUCATION ON A BUDGET
STEM Learning On A Budget
Are you the proud parent of an incredibly talented and naturally inclined little genius? Do you or another loved one wish you would have had the same opportunity that more financially stable peers have had to learn STEM related topics? Maybe you are considering a career in STEM but do not know how to get started. Whatever your unique story may be, do not let your budget get between you and learning STEM related topics to your heart’s content.
Learning STEM is an important concept that every individual on Earth should have the opportunity to indulge in. A specified amount of money may buy certain items, workshops, and classes, but there is no amount of money that will ever be able to buy an individual’s interest in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics. For those with a little less to spend on expensive opportunities, as well as those that are simply interested in integrating more into their lives, here are a few opportunities to learn STEM related topics.
For Those Still Exploring
This group may be defined as those that are unsure of how they will work STEM into their lives. At this stage, a career in a STEM related field of study may be possible, but maybe it will just be a fun learning experience on the side. Here are just a few ideas to get the explorer excited:
Build A House
Take this opportunity to draw up your own blueprints and ideas to build a bird or bat house. If you have a child who is interested, see what they can do throughout this process. You will be surprised to find that most people think that they cannot come up with a well-put-together final product without a pre-made template to follow. In the end, the houses that are built are done with the help of complex problem solving skills, experimentation, measuring, and a lot of hard work. It is possible that these houses are not the best homes for birds and bats, but they will pave the opportunity to continue to build and create other homemade items without the use of pre-made templates.
Plant A Small Garden
You may take your choice of a vegetable garden, berry patch, or flower garden. The point is to watch life grow because you made it possible. If you choose to grow food, you’ll be able to share your research and observations with the ones that you hold dear. You can even choose to divide your garden into small areas where you can explore using different fertilizers, different seeds, and even different temperatures in water.
Run Your Own Business
If you think that running a business has nothing to do with STEM, think again. Running a business is full of experimentation, taking businesses, figuring out what people want, and designing buildings, posters, and advertising for the business. Pretend owners will be able to explore the complexities of interest and tax when selling services or products. It is a neat experiment for those that really want to prove STEM’s importance in the real world.
For the College Bound
Those that are college bound are setting up the pathway they will take into college and then into a STEM education related career. This may be the teenager in high school, but it may also be the adult that wants to go to college for a new career in a STEM field.
Solve A Real-World Problem
Have you ever wondered what you could do to help save the world from all the challenging situations that it faces? There is hunger, pollution, medical misfortunes, poverty, homelessness, and natural disasters. There is really is no end to the list of real world problems facing our planet. Try drawing up a concept map, doing research, and creating materials, buildings, or prototypes that are meant to combat a problem that you have chosen to tackle. Once you are sure that you have something worth sharing, share this information with colleges, teachers, and scholarship donors. You’ll be surprised at what you can accomplish with the right people standing behind you.
Learn A Little About Coding
The beauty of living in the 21st century is that information is readily available in a variety of sources. You’ll be able to find free experimental information on the internet, in books, and from trusted family and loved ones. With a little will and a lot of motivation, see if you can put together a webpage using coding that you have created with the help of your research. You will find that this is a useful tool for just about anyone.
For the Forever Learner
This group is composed of both groups listed above as well as those that just make STEM a priority in life and are willing to teach its importance to those around them. All humans are forever learners, but it takes someone special to want to make STEM education an integral piece of life.
Feed The Community
The garden idea mentioned above is literally a lifesaver. You can plant vegetables and berries in a garden in just about any size outdoor space that you have. Take the knowledge that you learn over time from making large, delicious food to improve next year’s garden. The food that you grow can be sold or given away to those that are hungry in the community. You can even employ a few volunteers that want to learn from you to help tend to the garden.
Take on A Home Project
Every home needs a little sprucing up every once in a while. Take this time to assess what your home or household can truly benefit from. Maybe you need a new coat rack, a shed, or a squirrel-proof bird feeder. Maybe you need a new budget and a new formula for how each member of your family chooses to spend the household money. Maybe you have an old-school family business that simply needs a new webpage or visual aid for the storefront. Use this time to think about what problem you need to solve and how you can solve it using the least amount of money possible. For an added challenge, see if you can build something or fix one of the household’s problems using entirely recycled materials.
STEM doesn’t always get the excitement that it truly deserves. Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are integrated into every lifestyle from calculating interest on loans to growing vegetables in the garden. It is important never to be discouraged in your own STEM journey as we all are on a different path.