You may be thinking that it is impossible to change your own life let alone the life of a stranger or someone you love. The truth is simply that you can use your knowledge in STEM education to change someone's world for the better and leave feeling a little bit better about yourself and your abilities at the same time. If you are looking for a few ideas to polish up your STEM skills, make you feel like a superhero, and change someone’s life for the better, then keep on reading.
Build A Handicap Ramp for Someone That Needs One
You may know someone right next door to you that really has a hard time getting around and could benefit from a handicap ramp made with love. Maybe you see a neighbor that you have never talked to that could use the help. Maybe you have heard through the grapevine that a cousin’s neighbor’s grandma across the state is in dire need of a handicap ramp. Building a ramp will challenge you to work on your mathematical skills as well as your engineering skills. You may even get an opportunity to use technology to help design and create this handicap ramp project that you are doing out of the kindness of your heart.
Do not worry if you cannot fund the project in its entirety. There are plenty of opportunities to fundraise if the family that needs the ramp cannot afford it. If they can afford to fund the project, get them involved in any way that they can be. Even if a person cannot build the ramp themselves, they will likely want to be involved in some way with the project.
Build A Corn Maze
If you are fortunate enough to be a farmer or know a farmer that can make this project happen, please do. There are plenty of young children, families, and even grown adults that truly love the pure and innocent fun that a corn maze can provide. This corn maze can be big or small. It can be elaborate or simple. You may even offer a bunch of fun activities, snacks, face painting, and various other services if you are able to do so. Building the corn maze can start from science at the beginning when you build and grow the corn to make the maze and end with technology, engineering, and mathematics when you shape, design, and carve out the final maze. This project has the potential to meet quite a few different people of differing backgrounds and differing needs.
Program Another Person’s Computer
There are thousands, may millions or billions, of people around the world that either have never had a computer, or have never learned how to use one safely. This is even the case in developed nations like the United States where the average citizen uses a device that connects to the internet at least one time a day. The likelihood that you are knowledgeable enough to program a computer is very high if you are reading this and you are a STEM-minded individual. Programming can be as simple as setting up Microsoft World for an elderly neighbor and as complicated as reading up on how to create a brand-new completely custom web page for a coworker’s parent’s new business that they are trying to launch soon. Again, the possibility here of changing lives can reach out to multiple people.
Remodel A Kitchen
If you have ever purchased a house or known someone that has purchased a house, then you know that the kitchen is almost always one of the most prized rooms in the house. It must be a safe room with carefully planned features, and those features may be different for everyone that has ever owned the house. The likelihood that you know someone that would like a kitchen remodel is far higher than you may think. You can help someone do something as small as replacing vinyl flooring with intricately designed hardwood flooring. You could also do something as extensive as knocking down a wall and rebuilding a kitchen fit to feed an army of 100. The possibilities are endless and should be truly designed to meet an individual’s greatest hopes and desires.
Build A Memorial Garden
There are individuals in this world who feel as though their whole lives have come crashing to a stop when a loved one has passed away. This could be a parent, a sibling, a significant other, a child, or a beloved friend. You may even have found yourself to be in this position, unfortunately. What you know, regardless of whether you have found yourself to be experiencing the worst or not, is that there is nobody in the entire world that can replace the person that has passed away. There will never be someone that is exactly like another person- especially if they are exceptionally loved. That is why it is so important to show kindness to those that you know are suffering.
To build a memorial garden fit to honor a loved one, you should do a little bit of research with the family. What were the favorite flowers or plants? What were the favorite animals or activities? How big, small, detailed, open, or colorful should you make the garden? Once you have found these details, draw out a plan for what you will be doing. Not only will you be using your skills gained at a STEM school for good, the person you are doing this garden for will have an incredibly special place to go to remember, honor, and speak with their late loved ones. That is a gift that greater than what words can describe.
Entertain the Kids
If you are a parent or work with children on a regular basis, you know exactly how hard it is to entertain children 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. It seems that even when you think you have found an activity that will entertain a child, it may only do so for a quarter of the amount of time you were hoping it would. That would drive anyone crazy. Do not feel like you are a bad parent, guardian, or caregiver just because you need a break. If you feel it, then your neighbors, friends, cousins, and community members feel the need for a break too.
Why not use this time to create new crafts and activities that help other children to discover the joys of a STEM education? You can get as creative as you’d like and never find a limit to the possibilities you can create for another person.
You do not have to feel limited to the tips, tricks, and projects that have been presented to you here. Feel free to use your own imagination and to make the lives of those around you better in a way that is more personally detailed to them as individuals. At the end of the day you are using your skills in STEM to truly do something good. Doesn’t that make the world just a little bit of a brighter, happier, and easier world to be a part of?