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Ways to Encourage Children

Why should I encourage my child to take math and science courses? 

The best reason is that math and science courses are usually prerequisite classes to many college and university programs and both are so much a part of everyday life. Additionally, in today's world, many companies are looking for diversity in the workplace because there is evidence of a stronger team and better productivity in companies or departments where  a diverse group of people work together. Science and engineering related careers are still dominated by white males. If a female or minority candidate is available for hire, and meets all the requisites for the position, they have a very good chance of getting the job. Science, engineering and engineering technology jobs pay very well.

Studies have shown that many minority and female, high school students are not confident in their math and science abilities. You would be surprised at how easy and beneficial (for your child) it is to stay in math and science. So, here are a few tips on how to encourage your child to stay in math and science while in high school.                        

  • Maintain high expectations and encourage high achievement If you daughter know this is what you expect, they will rise to the challenge.
  • Make sure they take Algebra I in eighth grade and take a math and science course each year in high school.
  • Encourage girls to get involved in science, math, or engineering clubs (like this one).
  • Show girls that science and math are important parts of every day life. Cooking and balancing a check book requires math and science.
  • Let girls help assemble or fix things. I recently installed a new hard drive in my computer. My daughters helped research which drive to purchase, went with me to purchase it, and them helped me install it. I would give them one small task to do and then make an excuse and leave the room. By the end, they were telling their mother about installing the drive themselves.
  • Keep and show a positive attitude towards math and science. Negative comments imply that they are not expected to do well in math or science.
  • Visit classrooms when possible and make sure that the teachers are calling on the girls as often as the boys. Boys will often yell out an answer, making the girls feel as if their answer is unimportant.
  • Express confidence in you daughter's abilities - let girls know that they can do and be anything they set their minds to.
  • Get involved in some simple and fun science experiments at home (Remember the celery stalk and food coloring experiments - if not check the links)

Where I can find more ways to help encourage my child to pursue engineering? 

The Business Case for Encouraging Girls into Science and Engineering

Helping Your Child Learn Science (Celery Experiment and More!)

Girls Rise (Raising Interest in Science and Engineering)

Interesting Web Science Sites for Children