Should We Be Pushing STEM Programs to Our Children?


Should We Be Pushing STEM Programs to Our Children?

In recent years we have seen some schools shifting their focuses to offering STEM programs to their students. What is STEM you say? Well, it is an acronym standing for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, and has become popular among both parents and educators for its strong ties into “real life” careers and experiences. Because of this, the question that is being raised more and more is: “Should we be pushing STEM programs to our children?”

In my opinion the answer to this question is a resounding “Yes”. This is because there is a real shortage of engineers within the United States, and without the foundations being taught to our children we will continue to see that gap continue to widen if we do not take steps to address the issue.

Many of our great innovations that we have seen in the last half century came form engineers who worked on the space program, or through other STEM related professions that have sadly gone by the wayside here. As a society we need to take steps to turn the tide in our favor, and the time to start doing this is now.

Thankfully, some areas throughout the country are taking steps to address STEM in schools, bringing specialized sites to their districts and giving students an important heads up in this area. Near me, Midland Public Schools in Michigan has taken a huge leap by beginning construction on a STEM based elementary school, which will be open to the public.

This school will end up offering STEM education to 750 students and will feature design elements to enhance learning in the four main areas. These features include concrete floors (so messes can be made), a STEM studio space, a river bed outdoors, and outdoor education areas.

Steps like these are excellent, but they are just a start to get to where we need to be in our education. Parents throughout the United States should be bringing up this topic to their local school board members, and other school officials. Hopefully in the future we will see more STEM schools opening up and helping our children learn the skills that they need to get good-paying jobs in the “real world”.

An Independent Review of “The Car Video”



As a father of a two year old boy, I am always trying to find ways to bring some of my passions to my son while also giving him a great foundation for entertainment. This has led to us playing with toy airplanes, taking trips to the children’s museum, and watching shows such as “Sesame Street” while we spend time together. Because of this, I was thrilled when I found “The Car Video” online, as the DVD was developed by a pediatrician and filmmaker, which gave me confidence that the film would be educational and fun for my son.

The first time we loaded the video together, my son and I sat and watched the entire thing, which is rare as I swear the child runs around 24 hours a day. The video clocks in at just over 30 minutes, and includes a whole selection of different vehicles such as cars, motorcycles, and trucks. The video also presents children with concepts of shapes, colors, directions, parts of vehicles, and locations.

The presentation of “The Car Video” is very well done, and will certainly remind you of shows like the above-mentioned “Sesame Street”. The producers of the disc have done an excellent job of bringing together a lot of material in a short time, and your child will love the humor that is present in the film. Prime examples of this that my son loved were the multiple children coming out of the back of a car as well as a T-Rex that has his head sticking out of a Jeep. These are my son’s two favorite parts, and you can hear him squealing in laughter every time those scenes pop up.

The educational aspect of the video is great, as my son has quickly picked up the various technical spots of the vehicles (tire, door, etc) and points these out when we see cars out on the road.

Getting “The Car Video” was a simple process, as I was able to click the purchase button on the video’s website, which forwarded me to a PayPal screen that gives you the option to pay via the eBanking service or via your credit card. The shipping process was relatively fast as well, and the video was on my doorstep in what I consider to be a timely manner.

This video seems like it would be appropriate for children 1-5 years of age, and while older children may be bored by it, I found myself enjoying watching it with my little guy as we both enjoy cars, planes, tanks, or anything that can be piloted. If this sounds like you or your child, you really should take a look at “The Car Video”, as it manages to keep your child’s focus and teaches them a thing or two.

Jon – father of 2 year old Tyler, Chicago.


How a 2002 Subaru Impreza WRX Helped Me Bond With My Son


The Subaru had been the oldest member of my newly formed family, having entered my life shortly after it came off the production line. It was an ocean blue vehicle with a hood scoop and was commonly known for being the type of vehicle used as a rally car throughout the world. I loved that car, and it was certainly a part of my family. In 2006 I met my wife, taking the Impreza on our first date, and that same car drove me to the church on our wedding day, and the car delivered my son from the hospital the day after he was born. While there is no doubt that I love my wife and son infinitely more than that car, the Subaru still holds an important symbolic meaning in my life.

One of the happiest days of my life is when my son, who was at this point five years old, came out and wanted to help me change the Subaru’s oil. While my initial reaction was to tell him no as it was potentially a messy job, I ended up thinking it through and quickly agreed, and went inside to get him some “work clothes” on. When he emerged, I taught him about what oil does in a car, and he helped me with the pump to extract the oil (we use an over the top oil extractor). After that, he held a bag as I removed the filter and placed it inside, where I then smudged a bit of dirty oil on his nose as a joke.

This was a great bonding moment for us, and it also gave him a great understanding about how cars and tools work. In the years that have since passed, he has stepped up to help me with other projects on the Subaru, which include changing the air filter, replacing the brakes and rotors, and even replacing spark plugs (the kid has a real talent for threading in the plugs). These moments are touching, and I believe they have guided him to want to pursue a career in a STEM related field, as he wants to be a car engineer like his grandpa.

Doing projects like these while also merging in other educational pieces like our Car Video have definitely given my son an edge when it comes to mechanical understanding, and doing it with him has certainly helped bring us closer together.

After every one of our projects my son and I end up taking the Impreza out for an ice cream. Even after nearly 15 years, the Subaru is still going strong, even with more than 300,000 miles on it, and there is a very real possibility that the vehicle will last until Connor starts driving himself.

The moral of this story is to make sure you take the time to do little projects with your child, as you are giving them an important education, and spending time with your little one makes them feel important and loved, which in of itself is priceless.

Have you had the opportunity to do a special project with your son or daughter that has brought you closer together? If so, please feel free to share in the comments below.

Using Machinery to Educate Children


It seems that there are certain things that always draw the attention of children, such as animals, cartoons, and toys. However it appears that machines have a certain appeal that draws in a child’s imagination and sparks learning unlike anything else. Whether it’s cars, trucks, robots, or construction equipment, machinery will always be something that children enjoy in some form, and in this article we want to give you some tips about how to integrate these items into your child’s play and education time.

If you’re looking to find a way to bring the world of machines to your children, you should consider:

  • Taking your child to a robotics class- This is a great option that has gained steam throughout the world. Robotics classes start at ages of just 3 and go up from there, giving children the chance to get hands on with materials such as Lego, Tinker Toys, and other items to build simple machines that can be controlled via a computer program. While the classes aren’t the cheapest, they do provide an excellent STEM styled education experience.
  • Take your child to an auto show- No matter where you are, there are always car shows going on during the summer. Use this opportunity to get outside with your young one, and let them explore. Discuss the different styles of vehicles with your child, including the colors, shapes, and what the car’s function is. While doing this, allow them to sit in the vehicles and touch them if possible, as it will make the experience memorable and fun for your child.
  • Show your child our “Car Video”- Our Car Video has been developed to give your child an introduction to the various vehicles throughout the world, while also teaching them about colors, shapes, and numbers. Our video has been specifically designed to appeal to young children, and was designed by a pediatrician and award-winning film director to maximize the benefit to children. This video is not an “all in one” solution, but used in conjunction with some of the other techniques on this page, can boost your child’s interest in machines.
  • Contact a construction company to set up an open house- While many construction companies keep a busy schedule, it never hurts to call and see if the can accommodate a request to show your child some of their equipment. Around where I live, there are many companies that do this, and we have had the luxury of showing our children cranes, bulldozers, dump trucks (which are very popular), and excavators (or as my child calls them, diggers). Letting your child get into the seats of these machines is a wonderful learning experience, and I highly recommend you take the steps to have an experience like this if possible.

These are just a few of the options out there to help get your children involved with machinery, and mixing in fun and education to maximum benefit. We are curious to see what ways you have been able to get your children involved with machinery, so please feel free to comment below and let us know what ideas you have.

The Importance of Making Education Fun


When we are teaching our children, it is of the utmost importance to make the process of education both educational AND fun. This is because there is so much competition for the minds of our children nowadays, and learning can often be made stressful as we try to jam in so many activities into the lives of our loved ones. Thus, it is important to make the experience of learning enjoyable to our children, and in this blog we are going to give you some tips on how to do just that.

Parents looking for ways to make learning fun for their children should 9consider:

Taking their children out for field trips to museums and other learning spots.

Getting out in the world is fun for children, and finding a spot where you can teach your children is even better. Children’s museums are spread throughout the country and there are also nature centers, libraries, and planetariums that can also give your kids a hands on learning experience.

Do projects at home- If you’re homeschooling your children or are teaching them to help prepare for preschool or kindergarten, it is always a good idea to do some projects at home. These projects allow children to explore, learn to follow directions, and bring a bit of change to the general work that kids experience at home. Some experiments you can do at home are the home volcano, making slime, bending water with static electricity, and several others that can be researched online.

Make lessons a game- Kids love playing games, and any time you can make something they’re learning a game, they will be quicker to want to participate. You can do this by making spelling words a Jeopardy style game show, using flash cards to fill a bucket that awards prizes when it tips, or even using physical objects like balls or balloons as physical props to fit the lesson you’re teaching. The possibilities are endless, and can help keep your child engaged in learning.

Use technology to catch their attention- Kids love their screen time, probably too much, as kids spend too many hours watching television. Still, educational shows do have their place, and kids do love watching something that is both fun and educational. Our Car Video is specifically designed to be both fun and educational for children, and was designed by a board certified pediatrician to help maximize the learning value of the product. Videos such as these are fantastic opportunities to get your child learning, but you have to make sure to mix in other learning methods as well.

These are just a few of the many different ways that you can make learning fun for your children. There are a lot of different resources available online to find new and interesting methods to educate your children, many of which involve parents that homeschool their children, or are dedicated to providing instructions on projects that teach important lessons and are equally as enjoyable.

Ways to Give Your Child a Head Start on Learning


As parents, we all want our children to be healthy, happy, and successful in life. We see so much potential in the eyes of our little ones, and all want to do whatever we can to help them get a head start in life by teaching them the fundamentals. Unfortunately, it can be difficult for some parents to find the resources and knowledge to do this, and that leaves so many infants, toddlers, and preschoolers unprepared for the new world of education that they will face for the next several years.

That is why it is important for parents to find different ways to provide methods of education for their children in a way that will be both age appropriate and entertaining.  In this article, I want to take the time to reference some of these methods and also provide you with some information as to why I feel “The Car Video” that we created works to help educate and entertain your young child.

Parents looking for simple but effective ways to help give their child a good head start on learning should:

Make sure to read to your child on a nightly basis- There are multiple benefits to reading to your child on a nightly basis. Spending special time with them allows you to create a special bond that will hopefully carry on through adulthood, is able to relax your child, and can help improve your child’s imagination, intellect, and expose them to language, which can help him or her have a large vocabulary. Reading to your child is important, and you can make the activity fun by involving them in the story, giving them a variety of different stories, and by providing books in settings where they will be seated for a long time (i.e. road trips, doctor appointments, etc.).

Communicate with your child- This one is often overlooked, as we all communicate with our children, but it really is important for parents to take the time to make sure they are chatting with their children to promote language and communication skills. This process should begin when your child is an infant, and can involve you responding to their baby talk like you’re having a conversation with him or her, saying the names of various objects you’re holding in view of the child, and even singing simple songs that your child may like.

Allow your child to be curious- Curiosity is an important part of childhood, and although sometimes we may worry about letting our children go too far, we need to make an effort to let them explore the world around them and encourage them to do so. If you see your child reaching for something or trying to figure out a problem, be sure to make an effort to be positive and encouraging (unless the activity is potentially dangerous), and to give them support in figuring out problems, but only after you have let them attempt to figure it out for themselves.

Limit television time, and make sure programming is educational- Seeing as how we’re selling a DVD targeted at children, it may sound a bit contradictory for us to tell you to limit television time to your young one, but it is a very important tip that parents should follow. PBS indicates that 74% of infants and toddlers have  watched TV before they turn two years old, and children under the age of 6 watch television about two hours per day. This limits activity time that could be spent playing with toys, reading, or doing other constructive activity, and really should be monitored by parents.

That’s not to say that television is necessarily a bad thing. There are many good educational programs out there for children that teach fundamental learning skills and can give your child a bit of extra learning time. Our Car Video goes through and teaches colors, numbers, and shapes as well various interesting fact about cars and the places they travel. Videos such as this are beneficial, but even then it is important to make sure that you take the time to turn off the tube and find other constructive things to do with your children.

These are just a few things that you can do to help give your child a boost in the learning department. The internet is full of resources for you to research and find different ways to help educate your children. Of course, we also want to hear what you have to say, and would love it if you took the time to tell us what special things you do with your special little guy (or girl) to promote learning in the comments below.