Math and Science Class... On Vacation? - The Traveller

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Thursday, June 5, 2014

Math and Science Class... On Vacation?


Tortoise
There is a lot of talk lately about the importance of STEM classes and the fact that US is lagging behind in math and science scores, students, and potential employees. If this is the future, how do you get your kids to thrive with these subjects, and to understand all the places where they can be useful? One great way to do this is to take the concepts far beyond the classroom, and let the kids be around them at home and on vacation.

Planning a road trip? Have them calculate the fuel efficiency of the car, and to plan the route, looking at the different speed limits of each possible road, plus the distance traveled, to see which one is truly the quickest. Headed somewhere exotic like the Galapagos? Read Darwin's seminal work with them, discuss it, and bring a digital guide to the plants and animals. Let them bring the tablet or smart phone with them when they ID the animals. To make sure they've identified the tortoise, finch, lizard or other animal correctly, they need only to click here.

Vacations can also be designed to inspire young scientists or mathematicians. Budding engineers might love a trip to NASA or the racetrack to watch how machine design can change the world. Charity vacations can be taken to help design and make solar well pumps in Africa with teens. Kids can go to the mountain tops for a fossil or archaeology dig, and learn how to identify artifacts. If your child can dream it, you can see it close up. Not only can it be fun, but the difference in the classroom and their future can be life-changing.

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