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Empowering Our Makers

How Parents Can Get Kids Excited About STEM

Jack Challoner is a science teacher in the UK who wants to get young students interested in and inspired by STEM subjects. He believes that parents play as important a role as educators when it comes to unleashing a child’s curiosity and creativity.

“Parents can ask simple questions about things their child sees around them,” he says. “Why is the sky blue? How does a smartphone work? How do plants grow?” Even if they don’t know the answers, the idea is to get them thinking. 

Road to success

Outside the classroom, Challoner has written more than 30 books on science and technology, but his path to becoming a celebrated author wasn’t a direct trajectory. He had trained to be a math and science teacher, but then found himself working at London’s Science Museum. “It seemed to me that there were not enough exciting, interesting science books, and so it seemed a natural step to do something about it.”

In 1991, Challoner was asked to write a book for DK Publishing in London. From there his career took off, and he now has a whole series of Maker Lab titles.

Today, Challoner is focused on sharing his enthusiasm for STEM subjects and inspiring young people, but he also encourages people of all ages to embrace creativity and curiosity. I like to think outside the box and look at things from many different perspectives,” he says. His advice for makers of all ages: “I like to try things that I’m not necessarily good at, like drawing and videoing and writing poetry. I think overcoming the fear of trying something new is a big part of it.”

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