Some STEM activities bringing parents and kids together were planned by a nonprofit group which focuses on bringing STEM skills to girls and children of color.
When she was teaching young people about STEM subjects, Winnie Karanja noticed that the kids didnt struggle with the topics so much as the parents did.
“Maybe they had lots of bad experiences in their STEM classes, in their science classes and their math classes,” said Karanja, the founder of the educational nonprofit Maydm. “That’s the memory they have to go back to is, it was difficult, and they didn’t get all the help they needed.”
Maydm teaches STEM skills to girls and young people of color through semester long programs and workshops. :”Circuits, Cards, and Codes” is a workshop meant to connect the parents and children on tech activities, such as designing light up computer games and holiday cards.
Families attending the event at the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus will receive cards and stickers embedded with circuitry and LED lights. Students design the card, and then build an electrical circuit using the circuit stickers and lights.
Familkies can try a code-your-own adventure activity using Scratch, the popular programming tool. Technology professionals from Google and American Family Insurance will be available to guide the participants.
“We want younger students to get it, and to get excited, before they get these grounded perceptions of ‘Oh, (tech) is not fun,’” said Karanja. “This way, they have a memory to go back to and say, ‘Oh, I had fun at the Circuits, Cards and Code event.'”