STEAM and the spark of imagination: three reasons to come out to Geekapalooza at OSSM this Saturday - MetroFamily Magazine
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STEAM and the spark of imagination: three reasons to come out to Geekapalooza at OSSM this Saturday

Oklahoma City family fun can captivate young minds, especially when STEAM fuels imaginations without feeling like a a science lecture. Science, technology, engineering, art and math are the focus of a lot of parenting efforts right now and sometimes it’s hard to know how to direct kids’ interests. Come try it all with hands-on activities at Geekapalooza this Saturday, June 22 at the Oklahoma School for Science and Mathematics (OSSM).

Here are three reasons to attend:
   – Spend the day out in the sun with your kids doing something that’s educational.

– Get familiar with local resources that help children learn outside the classroom.

– Spark an interest that could be for life.

One of the most challenging aspects of parenting at my house right now is helping my children identify their interests and what might work for them to capitalize on time and talent while they’re still young. Looking back, it’s clear that my own skill set in marketing and my sister’s as an engineer were apparent in childhood, at least to some degree. The whole nature vs. nurture debate plays out differently for individuals than any textbook might suggest, since we all make our choices and circumstances vary but overall, I do see traits that are favorable for certain professions from now in my young sons. Knowing how to help them and finding opportunities to show

them what those personality characteristics and personal interests could become is a task that doesn’t have to feel like a chore.

I have met some parents who say that it’s totally unclear what their child is destined for and they just don’t see that spark yet. That’s okay too. Among my four children, we have some question marks because each child is so young, at 12, 7, 4 and 1. No one’s ready to declare a major today but there’s time. The most important thing is for them to know there are options.

Whether your child definitely loves science or you just think he or she could, come out to Geekapalooza. Some of the most successful STEAM professionals I know don’t really like math or science or even technology but they’ve put it to work for them and found how those subjects many people consider difficult are a means to an end. We just don’t know until we know.

When I think about my children’s future, there’s some modern version of the American Dream in those career choices. My kids are dual citizens and studying STEAM careers isn’t an option in places where competition is based on aptitude as determined by decimal points on test averages and testing into a major is required rather than simply deciding.

Shoot off a bottle rocket, visit the petting zoo, engrave a necklace and hear from some of the people who work in STEAM fields in our state. There’s a costume contest and a construction company will show what they do and there will be food trucks and no one will suspect learning is happening in a variety of ways, except us, the parents who just might see it happen, notice an interest to encourage. One size fits all isn’t what STEAM is about anymore. Women, people of color, second careers: there’s a place for everyone willing to work at it.

Best price on tickets: Get your family’s admission before this Friday for the best price, $12 for a family of four. They’re also available at the door for $15 per family of four. Morning and afternoon sessions are identical. Find details here.

Whether it’s just for a few hours or to last a lifetime, enjoy STEAM together at Geekapalooza. We hope to see you there!

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