Most STEMists enjoy the free time afforded during winter break. Students get to sleep later in the morning, participate in late-night family gatherings, and hang out with friends without the worry of completing project assignments or homework. Although a winter holiday is much needed, it can present challenges when it’s time to get back into the educational groove.
In fact, many teachers find that grades drop in the third quarter. And, though this is not true for all students, there are several reasons a drop in grades may occur. Some say it is the more challenging curriculum in the third quarter, and others blame the long winter break that causes students to get too relaxed and lose focus.
Here are 3 ways to ensure a smooth and groovy back-to-school transition for your STEMists to help them make the grade.
Now is the time to clean out your backpack. STEMists should completely empty their backpack and go through each folder and binder, pulling out already-graded papers, old project outlines and other items they won’t need for the next semester. Be sure to include working pens and pencils, and fill binders with a new supply of paper.
STEMists should also declutter their workspace at home. Whether a STEMist does homework at a desk in his bedroom or has a designated space in the family room or den, a clean and clutter-free area will allow for a more productive and stress-free environment. Make sure to clear a space for new incoming homework assignment materials and discard old papers. File them into a file folder or file drawer.
STEMists will experience a true sense of accomplishment by setting and meeting personal goals. Whether it’s to get a better grade in math, make new friends, join a club, keep their room clean, or even read the entire Harry Potter series, people who set goals are more likely to be successful. Ask your STEMists to set at least two goals for the remaining grading quarters in their school planner. Be sure to check them off after they are met. Also remind your STEMists to use their planners each day to help prioritize homework and in-school assignments.
Exercise Your Brain
Keeping your mind active is as important as physical exercise, and will help the brain stay fit and focused while out of the classroom. Engage your STEMists brains with board games such as Monopoly, Scrabble or Risk. Jigsaw puzzles also keep the mind in tip-top shape! Or, try one of the many free brain training apps that offer brain exercises to help your STEMists keep their minds in good working condition.
Posit Science claims BrainHQ is the only brain training program clinically proven to improve memory, speed, and attention. Top scientists provided input into the challenges in this app, resulting in a training system that comprehensively improves brain function, from the most basic elements of perception through the most complex elements of memory, thinking, and decision-making.
Sophisticated, scientifically designed brain training for anyone, Lumosity is part of the Human Cognition Research Project and offers a personalized brain training program that includes a personal brain trainer, 40+ scientific-based games, and a variety of brain tests to assess your performance at different points in time.
A monthly-themed Groovy Lab in a Box is another way to keep your STEMist’s brain fit and focused to help transition from winter break to a back-to-school routine. The Groovy Lab in a Box challenges STEMists to use their natural creative skills to complete investigations and an engineering design challenge! Recently named in Popular Mechanics 100% Wholesome Holiday Toy Guide, Groovy Lab in a Box challenges enhance STEMists’ ability to retain knowledge and to think like engineers—all while having fun!