Whether you're raising a kid who knows with full certainty that they want to have a future career as a scientist, artist, architect, video game developer, math teacher, etc., or your child is just starting to show an interest in STEAM curriculum, a great time to explore their interests is National STEAM Day.
National STEAM Day is celebrated on Nov. 8. It's a day where kids are encouraged to explore and pursue their interests in science, technology, engineering, art, and math.
While your kids might celebrate STEAM Day in some capacity at school, there are several ways to honor the day at home.
1. Tune into Scholastic's free live-streamed event
Scholastic is hosting a free live-streamed event on YouTube that's designed to engage elementary and middle school students in learning about STEAM concepts and careers. There will be a Q&A with herpetologist Dr. Earyn McGee, a professional lizard wrangler; a behind the scenes look at how a Scholastic game developer codes interactive digital games; and details about cool STEAM magazines for kids to check out. The event begins on Nov. 8 at 1 p.m. ET.
Scholastic is also offering free teaching kits for National STEAM Day, which you can access here.
2. Watch a STEAM-themed movie
Movie nights are always a hit, and there are plenty of fun STEAM-related movies to show your kids. "Dream Big: Engineering Our World" is a documentary by filmmaker Greg MacGillivray that explores the human ingenuity behind certain engineering masterpieces. You can rent or buy the film on Vimeo, YouTube, or Amazon Prime Video.
Another great STEAM movie to watch is "Hidden Figures," starring Octavia Spencer, Taraji P. Henson, and Janelle Monae. Based on real events in 1961, the movie follows three brilliant Black women at NASA as they serve as the brains behind one of the world's greatest achievements: launching astronaut John Glenn into orbit.
3. Swing by the library to check out STEAM books
You can find countless books at your local library that focus on STEAM topics. Ask the librarian to point you in the right direction for your child's specific age, then let them pick out some books of interest. To get an idea of what's out there, here's Amazon's list of popular STEAM-related books.
4. Reach out to a friend or family member with a STEAM career
The most fascinating people to talk to for kids interested in STEAM careers are grown ups already excelling in those careers. Setting up a time for your child talk to or interview someone in the general field they're interested in might spark even more of an interest.
5. Challenge your child to find their STEAM idol
This is a fun activity to do as a family. Invite your kids to research well-known or lesser known but established people in the industry they are interested in. Once everyone has found the person that inspires them the most, come together to talk about why they are inspirational, how they got started in their field, and their accomplishments.