Why Kids Need STEM Learning And How the My.Future Program Can Help.

“This post was sponsored by the Boys & Girls Club of America as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central.”

I’m going to date myself here, but I can remember my first computer in the early days of personal computers. I was eight. It was a little machine that required these big discs to run programs. I learned to program in Basic when I was in sixth grade, and I could write simple programs on it.

Fast forward to today when children often begin using technology from birth. Babies watch videos and use simple apps on an iPhone. Elementary students often carry their iPads or laptops to class and use them for homework as well. It’s critical in our current technology driven culture that children become familiar with using technology at a young age. STEM learning (science, technology, engineering, and math) is so important- even for young students.

Value of STEM learning

Why do our kids need to learn these STEM skills?

Understanding technology helps kids succeed in school.

When children can use technology to look up information they need or to present information from an assignment in class, they have an advantage when it comes to learning. Students who don’t have access to technology or don’t understand how to use it won’t be able to access information as easily. Knowing how to use the technology tools that so many of us take for granted is so important for students.

STEM skills prepare students for careers.

In the current global economy, technology jobs are increasing. Even jobs that aren’t directly in technology, math, engineering and science fields will require understanding of and use of technology. Without a basic understanding of STEM skills, students won’t be prepared to enter the workforce.

Technology prepares students for life.

Many aspects of our culture assume a basic knowledge of technology. Knowing how to use a smartphone, how to look up reference material using a library’s computer database, having the ability to search for information online, using online banking, filing tax returns online- many of these are things students will encounter in their day to day lives. If they aren’t prepared with a basic STEM skills, they will lack skills they need to succeed in everyday life in our current culture.

Kids and technology

What about students who don’t have access to technology?

Although many of us consider technology tools a regular part of life and wonder how we’d live without them, some kids don’t have access to these tools. And- even if their homes and families have some of these tools- they aren’t taught how to use them. As a homeschooling mom, I not only want to make sure my own children are prepared with the STEM skills they need to succeed, I also want to know how I can help kids who might not have access to the knowledge and technology tools they need.

Boys and Girls Clubs of America has come up with a way to help kids have access to STEM learning. Through the My.Future program, kids can learn how to use technology and develop a passion for it. 

Boys and Girls Clubs of America have been teaching kids in after school and summer learning programs for over 150 years. Research has shown that kids who have access to science, technology, engineering, and math learning are more likely to have increased interest in careers in these fields. With the My. Future program, kids and teens are given programming that will spark an interest in STEM learning based on interests they already have. Research shows that STEM jobs in the US are increasing faster than those in any other field. By 2018, students who have skills in these areas will be better equipped to succeed in a global economy. And the My.Future program helps them to learn this STEM skills.

Boys and Girls Clubs of America has long been a program that seeks to provide kids with a safe place for after school and in the summer. They’ve worked to provide good nutrition and recreation as well as providing an opportunity for learning. The My.Future program fits well with the mission of Boys and Girls Clubs of America, providing the way for kids to learn and practice STEM skills.

I try to provide opportunities for STEM learning in our homeschool- both through direct teaching and through hands-on activities. I’m glad to know that the My.Future program provides opportunities for kids who wouldn’t have access to technology or STEM instruction.

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