CQU's Linda Pfeiffer at the World Science Festival Brisbane Gladstone Community day held at Gladstone Entertainment Convention Centre in 2019.
CQU's Linda Pfeiffer at the World Science Festival Brisbane Gladstone Community day held at Gladstone Entertainment Convention Centre in 2019.

Parents encouraged to try STEM at home

EXPERTS say parents should not be expected to become teachers, but they can still use the coronavirus lockdown to try some cool hands-on STEM activities with their children.

CQUniversity Australia Pacific LNG STEM Research Centre Project lead Dr Linda Pfeiffer said there were many activities that helped with science, technology, engineering and mathematics areas.

"Brainstorm ideas, solve problems, design solutions, play board games, build things and evaluate your products," Dr Pfeiffer said.

She said parents should leave teachers to worry about educational milestones.

"Instead, embrace the opportunity to spend quality time with your children while in isolation," she said.

To assist parents in helping their children while at home, CQUni has put together a list of tips to boost productivity.

Tip 1: Keep a routine so that the children maintain good study habits. This includes mealtimes and sleep times.

Tip 2: Construct a timetable to allow for children to play, eat and socialise.

Tip 3: Pack a lunch box each morning to avoid "grazing" all day.

Tip 4:Allow break times to be outside and encourage the children to play then eat.

Tip 5: Wear shoes. Children need to maintain good posture and be able to wear shoes when they return to school.

Tip 6:Allow the children to assist in creating the timetable (perhaps it is different each day of the week) so they take ownership. Keep in mind children need to change focus or activity every 45 minutes or so (less for younger children) and are usually more effective learners in the mornings.

Sample sessions include online learning from school, video calling grandparents and live streaming an online resource like the SeaLife Virtual Aquarium.

Children could also get creative with a small construction project, make a video or cook something.

Sample timetable

9am - 9.45am Session 1

9.45am - 10.15am fruit break

10.15am - 11am Session 2

11am - 11.45am Session 3

11.45am - 12.15pm morning tea

12.15pm - 1pm Session 4

1pm - 1.30pm lunch

1.30pm - 2.15pm Session 5

2.15pm - 3pm session 6

Each session can be different for different children to allow use of resources such as the television or computer.



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