SciGirls encourages youth to pursue science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) by showcasing high-interest, hands-on projects for kids, by kids. Co-viewing SciGirls with your child, expressing your own curiosity and interest in the topics featured on the show, emphasizes that STEM is not just for scientists in laboratories, but for everyone, every day.
SciGirls episodes are great jumping off places for your child’s own curiosity as well. Use the Internet to follow up on questions the SciGirls episode might spawn.
It’s All About the Process
SciGirls shows focus on science and engineering processes, not the end results. As you watch SciGirls together, note that while every experiment may not turn out perfectly, each episode showcases important characteristics of STEM projects: teamwork, challenges, problem solving, freedom to express ideas, and support from a mentor. Shows also model important process skills as kids brainstorm, predict, observe, measure, classify, experiment, record, interpret, graph, communicate, and try again. These same skills can be valuable for your child as she pursues goals in school and everyday life. Talk about both the bright ideas and the wrong turns the SciGirls experience. It’s all part of the process.
One of the underlying principles of SciGirls is that girls benefit from relationships with role models and mentors. Seeing women and girls who have succeeded in STEM inspires and motivates girls, especially when they can relate to these role models as people with lives outside the lab. In addition to the scientists, the real girls featured on SciGirls are excellent “near peer” role models for young viewers. Episodes even feature individual Video Diaries where SciGirls share what’s unique about themselves. Encourage your daughter to create her own Video Diary, to express her own interests and ideas.
Offer a STEM-friendly home
STEM is about asking questions and exploring. You can start by being curious about how everyday things work. What happens when you flip a light switch on? What happens when you use different ingredients when making cookies? Encourage safe experimentation and discovery in the kitchen and backyard, where your girl can practice predicting, measuring, observing, and analyzing. Offer basic supplies, Internet access, a library card, and a space where she can make a mess. Talk to her about math and science. Ask her about what she’s learning in school. Encourage her to share her struggles and her successes!
Extend the SciGirls experience by offering opportunities for your child to engage in hands-on science using the fun family activities on this site or by searching for programs on the SciGirls website. Find a science club or a citizen science project near you!