5 Inspiring Resources For Kids Who Love Science
As kids become curious about the origins of the solar system, the insects in their backyard, and the rest of the world around them, they are often naturally drawn to science and technology. Many professionals and organizations have developed interactive and exciting resources such as experiments, creative writing projects, and demonstrations with animals that are designed to inspire a lifelong love of STEM. Here, in no particular order, are some resources that will stimulate children's imaginations and teach them unforgettable lessons.
Coming in at #1, we have the 3M Young Scientist Challenge, an annual competition for kids. To enter, students submit a short video in which they describe a new invention or solution that could solve or impact an everyday problem that directly affects them, their families, their communities, or the global population.
The video competition is judged by experts in the fields of science and communication, including current and former teachers, scientists, and representatives from school districts across the country. Finalists get the opportunity to develop an invention under the mentorship of a professional. At the end of the competition, America's Top Young Scientist is awarded $25,000.
For #2, we have the Creepy Crawly Zoo, a theatrical, hands-on insect show. Created and hosted by Tony Gustin, the presentation can be booked at various venues in the Milwaukee area. In the past, it has appeared at Virginia Tech's Bug Fest, Museum of Gastonia's Bug Day, the Milwaukee County Zoo, and elsewhere.
Gustin has created a Science Diary to help kids document their discovery of new plants, insects, and more. The booklet is free, and all little ones in attendance receive their own copy. The Creepy Crawly Zoo has been featured in numerous press outlets, such as Fox 6 Milwaukee and Wisconsin Public Radio.
Next up, at #3, we have the San Diego Festival of Science & Engineering. This educational experience takes place over the course of several days and features interactive demonstrations, hands-on activities, and engaging speakers. It was started in 2009 by entrepreneur Larry Bock in Southern California's Balboa Park.
During the festival, activities related to STEM are held all over the San Diego area. Past examples include a workshop allowing kids to make their own wearable electronic textiles and an event held at the Birch Aquarium at Scripps, teaching children about ocean animals.
The #4 entry is Cristy Burne, a science writer and children's author whose goal is to excite kids about STEM and STEAM. Burne has written several books for young scientists, including a biography of cosmetic surgeon and inventor, Professor Fiona Wood.
Burne makes lesson plans for each of her books available to teachers for free. In addition to being an author, she gives regular lectures and presentations at schools across Australia to discuss science, technology, creativity, reading, and writing.
For #5, we present Science in the Parks, an interactive outreach program designed for children of all ages, especially preschool through middle school, and their families. The educational initiative occurs during the summer at several parks in the Ogden, Utah area.
Each week, the program happens at a different park. Every day of the week presents a different collection of interactive science activities, like learning about bubbles or the spectrum of colors. It is organized by Weber State University, in conjunction with the local school district's free summer lunch initiative.