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Teaching Children During Quarantine: Keeping them STEMulated

Dr. Joti Samra

April 17, 2020

Resiliency

Teaching Children During Quarantine: Keeping them STEMulated

During this time of social distancing and self-isolation schools are closed or have transitioned to online learning. Teaching children during quarantine has been a challenging transition for many parents. Not only that there are so many hours in the day to keep children stimulated. One of our research assistants Kimberly Rutledge, who is currently working on a double major in Psychology and Biology at UBC Okanagan, has started a YouTube channel Science Experiments for kids which is a great way to keep children engaged and learning during quarantine.

 

Kimberly’s Story

My parents knew early on I was going to be a scientist. I was fortunate they did everything they could to support my interests. They helped me with my science fair projects, bought me my first microscope in third grade, and took me to science camp during the summer. As I grew up, I realized what a privilege this was to have parents who were willing and able to support me. Many of my peers didn’t have the luxury of a stay-at-home mom or a dad who worked 9-5. 

Her Passion for Teaching Children

Years later, while studying science at University, my elementary school asked if I would come back and judge their science fair. At the time, my mom volunteered at the school and she told me there was a student whose project I “just had to see”. As soon as I saw his project, I knew it was special. He’d done it all by himself, an enormous feat for someone so young. When he spoke about science, his eyes lit up and I saw a shared passion for science. 

Later, my mom told me he didn’t come from a family who supported his love for science. Nor were his basic needs being met at home. It broke my heart to think such a brilliant and passionate child wouldn’t reach his full potential. Additionally, in a world where teachers are overwhelmed by lack of support and many families aren’t dual-income or have a single parent doing it on their own, children may not be getting the same access to STEM I received.

Currently, COVID-19, which has led to school closures, poses an additional barrier. It’s important to think about the ways in which we are teaching children during quarantine but many parents face barriers that make this challenging.

STEM: Teaching Children During Quarantine

I got involved with volunteer teaching STEM in elementary schools because I hoped to get more young people excited about science! I was looking for another way to reach children through STEM education. So, I decided to make science videos for kids to do at home! These tutorials are all approximately 5 minutes in length and use items kids can find around the house.

Though, some require parental supervision, so keep that in mind! 

My goal, through my volunteer work and these videos, is to make STEM accessible to all children. One day, I hope every child can see themselves as a scientist. We need all their brilliant minds to help us change the world. 

Give Kimberly’s videos a watch and let us know what your kids think, they’re a great tool for teaching children during quarantine.

 

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