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How you can help get your kids excited about STEAM

Most children entering kindergarten will do jobs that don't currently exist, and studies also show that most of these jobs will require STEAM skills. This evolving landscape means that STEAM learning is important and plays a critical role in preparing children with the 21st century skills they need for the future workforce.

With National STEAM Day right around the corner, LEGO Education put together a few ideas to help you plan your celebration. Whether you're in the classroom or at home, here are some ways you can help get your kids excited about STEAM:

* Get hands-on: A recent survey shows that parents and teachers agree hands-on learning is the No. 1 way to build confidence in STEAM subjects. Trade in the worksheets for hands-on activities. Check out the many free resources for STEAM activities you can do at home and hundreds of free lesson plans for teachers. There are plenty of ideas to choose from, or create your own.

* Try, fail and try again: When kids face a roadblock, it's natural to want to jump in and find a solution. Instead, make it a point to let your student try it for themselves first, which helps them develop real-world skills like problem solving and resilience. This will help ready your child or students for a future career in STEAM.

* Find what sparks their interest: Ask questions and see what your student gets excited to talk about. Switch roles for the day and empower them to be your teacher. Not only will it help reinforce the subject matter, but also boost their confidence by being an expert in something that interests them.

* Make it into a project: Ask the age-old question, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" Use National STEAM Day as an opportunity to explore STEAM careers - it might not be what they (or you) expect! Have your child or students pick a STEAM career to research and then share a job description or find examples of companies in that field. Here are a few STEAM careers to explore: app developer, forensic psychologist, graphic designer, architect, astrophysicist, medical illustrator, civil engineer, archaeologist, product designer, sports announcer and many more.

* Host a STEAM career day: Reach out to people in your community who are in STEAM careers (that might even be you) to participate in a STEAM career day at your school. Or connect with larger companies in your area who can help organize a shadow day or video chat with your child or students. Meeting people in these careers helps kids see the connection between what they're learning in school and the real world.

Share your own ideas and plans for National STEAM Day using #NationalSTEAMDay #LEGOconfidence.

LEGO Education offers hands-on, playful STEAM learning experiences based on the LEGO system of bricks, hardware, software and content for students and their teachers in early learning, primary and secondary education as well as through after-school programs and competitions. These solutions create an environment for active, collaborative learning where students build skills for their future, a lifelong love for learning and confidence in their ability to learn and solve problems, setting them up for lifelong success.

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