Families Matter for STEM Learning

Aug 21 2018

This video highlights the importance of family engagement in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) learning. 

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Student success in the world today requires strong science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills and the capacity to apply these skills in everyday life. As a child’s first teacher, families play a critical role in the development of STEM capacities.   

 Research shows there are three main ways that families strengthen STEM learning from early childhood through adolescence: 

  • Families can develop a STEM-rich home environment. 
  • Families can create a mindset that promotes strong STEM identities. 
  • Families can strengthen STEM learning by participating in activities across a variety of settings. 

These practices not only build student academic skills but also strengthen the bonds between families and their students while empowering families to be confident in their powerful role in STEM learning. Practitioners can also use the 5Rs of engagement—Reach Out, Raise Up, Reinforce, Relate, and Reimagine—as strategies for strengthening families’ capacities for creating effective opportunities in STEM learning. 

These ideas and the concepts featured in the video draw from research presented in the recently released monograph, “Promising Practices for Engaging Families in STEM Learning,” which focuses on how families, schools, and out-of-school communities can promote student success in STEM by building organized and equitable pathways for family engagement across all of the settings in which students learn. 


This video is part of a four-part series on family engagement in STEM learning.