The last several months have been particularly challenging for parents and teachers of young children. This summer, many parents want to make sure they kids have fun, even while many of them are not going to their usual camps. In addition, however, many parents are concerned about the Covid-19 slowdown or slide, especially when it comes to mathematics. The Dallas Morning News recently put together a curated list of suggested STEM learning resources for parents. talkSTEM is honored to be included in the article. Read this article for some great insights on doing #STEM (including #Math) at home!

The graph below is from an April 2020 study conducted by the Collaborative for Student Growth at NWEA (Northwest Evaluation Association).

Graph from NWEA Study, The COVID-19 slide:
What summer learning loss can tell us about the potential impact of school
closures on student academic achievement

A key recommendation on the report is to ensure that families and students use engaging mathematics and reading materials over the summer.

Thanks to our signature initiative walkSTEM, co-developed by Dr Whitney, Founder of moMath (or the National Museum of Mathematics, in New York) and Dr Dhingra, founder of talkSTEM, we put a spotlight on math on most of our learning materials and videos. We see math as broad and encompassing, it’s the science of patterns so you and your children can connect to it through music, art, dance, sports, nature, and more. We want to share three free, fun, and easy activities suitable for families this summer:

  1. 21 Day Summer STEAM Challenge – Sign up to receive a daily menu of 3 fun, easy activities designed to help children of all ages, especially elementary and middle school ages, to connect math and science to the real world. No kits, no need to purchase anything. The world around you is rich with learning opportunities and wonder. All you need is your STEM mindset, your willingness to ask questions, explore and have some fun!

2. walkSTEM Explorers

Digital Games for Elementary and Middle School-aged kids. Currently, we have two type of games available on the Explorers site: Adventures (which is a video scavenger hunt through various locations) and Watch This, Do That (which involves watching specific short videos that the talkSTEM community has created showcasing math or science in real world environments and then doing specific activities inspired by these videos). All materials required in the activities are basic i.e. things you have lying around the house for the most part.

3. #STEMlens

We want to invite all families to engage their kids by challenging them to take the best photos of anything and everything where they see a math connection. Read about the #STEMlens challenge by clicking on the link above. For Summer 2020, we are kicking off a social media challenge for families to share 3 photos and to then tag 3 friends to do the same. Share your math observation or question in the caption and don’t forget to tag us on social media. We will post the most fascinating observations and questions, the most creative photos, and anything else amazing you share on our blogs and social media. Plus – what a great collection of images we will make together. Get your kids excited to share – this is a great way to motivate kids who are sick and tired of worksheets. It’s the other side of the coin – the creative side!

What else are you doing to engage your kids in math this summer? We’d love to hear! Please share in the comments below.

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