Participation in engineering and science activities has many potential benefits for youth.
1. Engineering and science projects reinforce topics youth are learning in school. Engaging students in hands-on, real-world engineering and scientific experiences can enliven math, and other STEM content areas.
2. Engineering and science foster problem-solving skills, including problem formulation, asking questions, creativity, planning, observing, testing, and sharing results.
3. Children are fascinated with building and with taking things apart and keen to understand how things work. By encouraging these explorations, we can keep these interests alive. Describing their activities as “engineering” or "doing science" can help them develop positive associations with engineering and science, and increase their desire to pursue such activities in the future.
4. STEM literacy is necessary for the 21st century. As our society increasingly depends on science, engineering, and technology, our citizens need to understand these fields.
This material is based upon work supported by NASA under cooperative agreement award number NNX16AC53A. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).