by Nathan Li
Have you wanted to bring STEM guest speakers to your kid’s elementary classroom? Introducing different professionals to your kids can help encourage them to find a career to pursue. Helping your kids find their passion at a young age will help set them up for success. Here are 3 stimulating STEM guest speakers you can incorporate into your elementary school classroom.
Kids who are interested in the environment and animals will greatly enjoy being visited by an ecologist. Ecologists spend their time researching the interactions between animals, plants, and the environment. Meeting an ecologist can help teach kids about the relationships between predators and prey, or how invasive species disrupt the environment. Ecologists can be found working at zoos, museums, or aquariums. Another important aspect of speaking with an ecologist is how ecologists can educate children on protecting the environment. The state of the environment is a pressing issue, and introducing the idea of helping the environment will be beneficial for our future. Ecologists constantly work to solve environmental issues. Having an ecologist as a guest speaker will help teach your kids about the importance of using scientific methods to solve problems.
2. Video Game Designer
Another career that features the use of STEM is video game designers. Video game designers use science, technology, and math to help create unique gameplay experiences. If your kids are interested in playing video games, they will have an enjoyable experience of learning about how video games are created. Video game designers can discuss how they plan their games, the process of coding the games, and how they finish polishing their creations. Speaking to a video game designer can encourage your kids to try creating their own games. It can even teach them about the importance of trial and error when designing and making new things. Video games require STEM skills, creativity, and perseverance in order to be created. If your child wants to become a game designer, this is a good first step to help them get on that path.
3. Agricultural Scientist
Agricultural scientists are in charge of discovering ways to increase food production and raising farm animals. These scientists study a variety of topics, such as farm animals, plants, soils, and processed food. Many of the conveniences surrounding the food we consume have been created from the efforts of agricultural scientists. Meeting with an agricultural scientist is a great way to introduce your kids to agriculture. It can also provide your kids perspective on the important role agricultural scientists play in our society. The field of agriculture relies on STEM, since many of the innovations of food production relies on using engineering, math, and technology. Agricultural scientists create experiments that help discover new ways to streamline the process of growing fruits of vegetables. Agriculture may be a great career field if your child is interested in gardening or taking care of animals.
If you would like to get in contact with guest speakers, check out this NSTEM resource. Although this resource is specific to Kansas, speakers are attainable for all schools. You can find guest speakers in STEM fields by reaching out to local universities, research institutions, companies and professional organizations. You can also use online platforms like LinkedIn to identify and connect with professionals in the desired field. Networking events, workshops and conferences related to STEM can also be great opportunities to meet potential guest speakers.
Do you want more resources on the topic of STEM guest speakers? NSTEM’s vast resources database provides thousands of STEM resources that are searchable by category, school level and state. This comprehensive library includes info on enrichment activities, curricula, internships, scholarships and more. Check out a free sampling here. Or get an NSTEM membership today to unlock the complete list.
Grades 3-5 continue the STEM education journey, where students are interested in the natural world, in how things work, responding to stories told by teachers that give purpose and meaning to STEM disciplines, which molds them into thinkers, problem solvers and creators. The National STEM Honor Society sees grades 3-5 as a critical point in the NSTEM journey. To start your grade 3-5 chapter of the National STEM Honor Society, click here.