Getting Students Interested in STEM by Amanda Winstead

STEM Interest

Getting Students Interested in STEM by Amanda Winstead offers teachers and parents ideas for exposing kids to STEM subjects that may get them interested in a career in one of these fields. While a STEM career may not be a good fit for all children, they all should be exposed to STEM in a manner that might capture their interests. Thanks, Amanda.


  • Getting students interested in STEM has never been more critical for the future. Consider some of the most influential developments in our modern society. The rise of AI, the influence of social media, and the distribution of mRNA vaccines — behind each of these trends are science, technology, engineering, mathematics, or all of the above.
  • When students gain an appetite for STEM knowledge, the future is in their hands. STEM career opportunities are everywhere. But even for students who don’t end up directly in the field, STEM education can help students improve their problem-solving, collaboration, and critical thinking skills — all while making them more ethical decision-makers in the future.
  • The good news for educators is, STEM concepts can be highly engaging since they can be applied in practically all aspects of life. With these strategies, you can get students excited about the possibilities of STEM with ease.

Incorporate Student Interests in Your Lessons

  • Think about the topics that captivate your students’ attention. Do they love playing music? Do they enjoy video games or playing baseball? Chat with your students about their hobbies and explain how STEM concepts apply to them, then encourage them to think about STEM next time they take part.
  • When you start to point out day-to-day STEM applications, students can clearly see how much they’ve enjoyed STEM in the past. As an example, if you have an aspiring chef in the classroom, you can explain how baking is like a science, requiring exact measurements and chemical reactions.
  • The more hands-on you can make STEM applications, the better. For instance, you can work with tech lovers to break down the parts of an old computer or device (or even build one). Or, you can take your outdoorsy students on a nature walk to search for mathematical concepts on display.

Gamify STEM Education

  • Some students perceive STEM (and learning in general) as a bore. As a teacher, you have the chance to turn their perceptions around. Make STEM learning fun by blending technical subjects with academic games and scavenger hunts. As an example, you can hold a class outdoors — perhaps in your school courtyard or football field — and challenge students to find different geometric shapes. Give extra points for the tough ones and offer a prize to teams that earn the most.
  • Teachers can also hold optional semester-long challenges that blend STEM and the arts. For instance, students can draw a blueprint for their dream house or write a song about their learnings. You can give extra credit or stars that can be traded in for prizes to students each time they complete a challenge in their free time.
  • When you gamify STEM education, students can get instant gratification from learning opportunities. This encourages them to keep actively participating in STEM.

Replace Traditional Homework With Engaging Projects

  • Fewer educators and parents than ever are embracing traditional homework like worksheets, take-home quizzes, and essays. But whereas traditional homework can cause fatigue — both physically and emotionally — and cause kids to associate learning with negative feelings, fun hands-on projects can boost student interest while helping them learn.
  • Rather than having students memorize STEM definitions for a test or create PowerPoint presentations about STEM processes, consider letting students take home STEM projects. For instance, if you start a project at school, you can challenge them to improve their final product at home. If your students are building a bridge out of marshmallows and toothpicks, you can even turn it into a competition — whoever builds the longest bridge and films it standing for 10 seconds wins a small prize! They can also see which bridge holds the most weight.

Get Parents Involved in STEM Education

  • Teachers play an important role in developing interest in STEM, but after school ends, students don’t always have the motivation to continue their exploration into the field. Without continued engagement in STEM activities, students may increasingly view STEM careers as difficult or unattainable. The majority (60%) of freshmen lose interest in STEM by graduation.
  • However, encouragement from parents can help teachers sustain long-term interest. Parents who give their kids the tools they need to pursue and grow their interests are key to preparing our future generations for STEM.
  • Getting students into STEM can be as simple as providing parents with the right resources. Recommend STEM toys for children and cost-free ways to incorporate STEM into playtime. If you’re teaching middle school or high school, you can also recommend boot camps and make-a-thons for teens — ideally those that offer scholarships to ensure they’re accessible to all families.

Start Getting Students Interested in STEM

  • Students are naturally curious about the world around them, but incorrect perceptions about STEM often draw them away from the field. Teachers can get students interested in STEM by making it feel more accessible and fun. Start by understanding what your students are interested in, then make those interests a part of your lessons. You can also boost interest in STEM by prioritizing educational games and engaging projects over dull lessons and homework.
  • To put a cherry on top of your STEM engagement efforts, get parents involved in STEM education, too. When they have the right resources, they can work with you to prolong their children and teens’ interest in core STEM subjects, so students can succeed in their future careers.

Amanda Winstead

  • Amanda is a freelance writer out of Portland focusing on many topics including educational technology. Along with writing she enjoys traveling, reading, working out, and going to concerts. If you want to follow her writing journey, or even just say hi you can find her on Twitter.
Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter Share this page via Google Plus     If you like the summary, buy the book