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Teenagers with parents who conveyed the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) had higher scores in mathematics and science-college preparatory examinations, a long-term US study has found. Talking to teenagers about the benefits of science boosted their exam results by as much as 12%, which in turn increased the number pursuing STEM-based careers.
The research was part of a longitudinal study that recruited families in the state of Wisconsin in 1990 and 1991 when mothers were pregnant. The STEM part of the analysis, led by psychologist Judith Harackiewicz from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, looked at 181 families from that cohort with students attending 108 different high schools.
Parents are an untapped resource for promoting STEM motivation.
I can personally attest to it when you almost burn down the house and your parents don't freak out. The support loop is reciprocal: When you have a loving relationship with involved parents, you kind of want to please them. Especially when their house is intact.
I still wouldn't try this at home. My parents were special, yours might freak out. Keep it safe, and keep them calm.
Physics World: Parents' enthusiasm for science boosts teens' exam scores, Michael Allen