STEM, short for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, is often used as shorthand for fostering kids’ interest in those industries at a young age by incorporating them into education programs. A budding passion for the STEM fields can begin with anything from tinkering with Legos and building blocks to even advanced skills like coding. Exposing kids to such activities is a great way to increase lifelong involvement in STEM fields, and Northern Virginia offers a variety ways to get the ball rolling.
Here are some of the organizations and events that help kids build STEM skills and interests.
This nonprofit has a variety of coding groups that encourage and teach young students about the development of apps and websites and computer programming with a focus in making it an entertaining pastime for kids. //Northern Virginia Community College Annandale Campus: 8333 Little River Turnpike, Annandale
One way to encourage students to want to learn about STEM subjects is to generate programs that spark their curiosity. Curiosity Zone’s STEM programs incorporate the skill sets and thinking processes necessary to thrive in science and math well into the future. // 525-K E. Market St., Suite 195, Leesburg
This engineering programming franchise has spread throughout the country with a location here in Northern Virginia that enrolls students from pre-K to eighth grade in programs that cultivate an appreciation of and enthusiasm for STEM subjects. The programs specialize in STEM literacy, collective group work and critical thinking. // 20608 Gordon Park Square, Suite 170, Ashburn
Hour of Code’s goal is to reach every student and provide him or her with the opportunity to learn about coding. Schools can host coding events, or individual students can take self-guided tutorials on computers and development.
The computer programming developers behind Code Camp were inspired to create a new generation of developers. The camp offers opportunities to engage students in the various skills needed to code for different platforms or languages. // Microsoft Corporation: 12012 Sunset Hills Road, Suite 100, Reston