For years, STEM fields have been known to favor a certain type of student, and that student typically isn’t young, working class, or Black. There’s also evidence to suggest it’s not just colleges that are responsible for the missing diversity in STEM courses. With some learners growing up in under-funded schools and then facing a new kind of discrimination in college, it makes sense that many Black students are turning away from STEM, but that doesn’t mean a future in science, tech, engineering, or math is out of reach.
Recently, a student who graduated high school at only 12 years old was accepted to medical school at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Heersink School of Medicine. Alena Analeigh plans to study viral immunology and lead a team of women to “help find a cure for viruses that plague the world.”
A career in STEM is possible for any student with the right support and resources, but first, your child needs to understand what STEM is—and find it interesting enough to foster a determination to succeed. Something that may help spark your child’s curiosity is the Complete Coding for Parents & Kids course. This online STEM training for adults contains 157 lessons teaching parents how to build educational games for their kids using a real game engine. By combining education and fun, you can help them see how far reaching STEM is and how rewarding related fields can be.
How this course can educate parents and kids about STEM
Credit: Desola (Sector-6) via Unsplash
Have you ever shown your child the apps on your phone? What if they knew you built one just for them, using coding and artificial intelligence? You handle the design. They do the “product testing.” And through it all, your child is surrounded with the potential to fall in love with coding and design. Not to mention it’s a chance for you to learn something new, too.
Studies have shown that kids tend to learn better when they’re engaged. Of course, you know your child’s learning style better than anyone else, so you can use that knowledge as you construct an educational, gamified app just for them. Playing a game that teaches math is more exciting than reading about it in some stuffy book—and it could help foster kids’ intrinsic motivation to learn more.
Each section of this coding course guides parents step by step through tools that professionals use, like Unity, Construct 3, and Flutter.io, to create real, educational apps suitable for kids to start learning STEM. Each lesson is led by John Burra, who has been programming games for 26 years and is the owner of his own studio, Mammoth Interactive.
The course doesn’t just focus on coding, though. You’ll also learn how to use Adobe Illustrator for designing apps, games, and anything else you can imagine that would help your child learn and grow. That being said, the Adobe software is not included, so if you do want to learn Illustrator, you’ll need to purchase it separately. Likewise, Unity, Construct, and Flutter are not included, so be sure to download them before getting started.
How building a kids’ app can lead to more diversity in STEM
Credit: Desola (Sector-6) via Unsplash
You can’t choose what career your child goes into, of course. They could be one of the smartest kids in physics or trigonometry class and forgo all the highest-paying STEM jobs in favor of becoming a pro wrestler or an influencer on some new social media platform you won’t understand. But you can make sure they know their options from a young age, and impressing them with a custom-built app is a great way to get started. They’ll hardly believe their mom or dad made an app and undoubtedly want to know more about how you did it. Showing your child STEM can be fun and helping them cultivate that interest early on could lead them to these fields on their own down the line.
Realistically, the games you create with this training won’t help your child skip a grade or start auditing a college seminar, but these apps can teach STEM foundations at a speed that works for your son or daughter. By keeping things self-paced (and challenging without being discouraging), the apps you build for your kids can plant the seeds of passion for one of the various STEM industries. It’s that passion that, when nurtured, can drive a person to keep pushing for what they want, to fight against any barriers in their way. Being motivated to persist is one way to challenge discrimination in STEM, but motivation can’t exist without that first spark of interest—which is where your custom-built educational apps come in.
Give your child the chance to fall in love with STEM by producing educational games and apps that show them how fun these often-maligned school subjects can be. For a limited time, you can enroll in Complete Coding for Parents & Kids to create your own educational apps for just $13.99.
Prices subject to change.