If you are looking to get your little ones inspired by the STEM subjects (subjects relating to science, technology, engineering and mathematics) through reading, then look no further.
Story Time From Space is a programme set up by NASA and the Global Space Education Foundation that has real astronauts and crew members read children’s books and perform simple science experiments whilst in orbit. Videos of this are then posted online to be shared with the world.
NASA ensures the books being read are a diverse selection of stories based on science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and who better to read them to you than an astronaut who is actually in space?
The programme intends to not only get children interested in STEM concepts from an early age but also raise awareness of the International Space Station and those aboard it. The diverse range of books being chosen means there is a mixture of languages and topics in the attempt to make this project accessible to all. Even more, it’s completely free! You can donate to the project on their website, but to watch the videos you don’t need to pay anything.
Engaging children with STEM subjects from a young age is becoming more and more important, especially girls. It is estimated women make up only 14.4% of people working in STEM in the UK, despite making up half of the population. A lot of people feel this gap starts a younger age where boys are encouraged into STEM activities and lessons more than girls. The great thing about Story Time From Space is the diversity of the readers, with stories being read by female astronauts and crew members as well as male. Although a small change, it’s a great way to start introducing STEM subjects to young boys and girls, whilst also providing them with idols in the field they can relate to.
This is a great way to parents or household helpers from a domestic staff agency to liven up story time and engage children with STEM subjects, as well as opening a conversation about space and everything beyond Earth. Who knows, we may even have a few future astronauts in the making?