Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Enriching Education: 5 Learning Activities for Teens During a Pandemic

The pandemic has impacted teens more than most — disrupting school schedules, proms, sports, and social lives across the world. Many are particularly suffering from boredom. And their parents are worried that the lack of in-school instruction will have long-term impacts on their teen's education.

Here is a list of educational — and fun — activities that teens can do that will keep the boredom at bay and the education flowing.

Virtual Tours of Museums

The spread of COVID-19 may stop us from visiting museums in person, but there is plenty to explore online. (Which is likely where your teens want to be hanging out anyway.)

Museums and zoos around the world are throwing open their virtual doors with online tours of some of the most interesting exhibits in the world.

Many of these tours include virtual walk-throughs and the ability to examine art and sculpture up close. The LouvreGuggenheim, and Smithsonian are all offering fully digital experiences.

Learn Something New

With all those extra hours at home, now is the perfect time to pick up a new skill, such as cooking, coding, knitting, woodworking, robotics, or playing the guitar.

YouTube provides a wealth of information. Or consider looking for an online teacher to help them get the basics down.

It can also be fun to dive into natural resources and related industries like silver mining or soda ash (also see this DIY video).

In addition, learning how bright leaders are solving problems highlighted by the coronavirus, can be inspirational. For example, this interview includes Sarah Menker, whose work is revolutionizing agricultural supply chains, making them more resilient.

And some teens may want to learn how markets work by learning the basics of online trading including the various methods available.

Read Books from Writers in Different Countries

Travel plans may be on hold for the next few months, but there is another way to explore the world: through the pages of books.

Rather than relying on stories based in America, look for books that explore the world outside of our borders.

Princeton Library provides a good list to start with. It includes a variety of young adult books set in faraway places like Afghanistan, Iran, Berlin, and Australia. Consider audiobooks for teens who don't love to read.

Online Escape Rooms

Online escape rooms are a fun way to pass the time — but they also include a bit of learning. Teens can learn how to use ciphers, work as a team (with their friends), and pay attention to details.

Several websites are offering online escape rooms for a few dollars per player. One good example is Paruzal Games. Escape rooms can be done as teams, so they can still hang out with their friends. They might not even notice they are learning!

Understand Compound Interest

Finance might sound like a boring topic, and it can be when it isn't taught in an engaging way. Compound interest, however, can be an exciting way for teens to understand the importance of saving now.

Use a compound interest calculator to figure out how much teens would have in 5, 10, or 20 years if they started saving just a few dollars a day. Showing them how quickly their money will grow might be just the incentive they need to start saving.

Final Thoughts

Teens, in particular, are struggling to adjust to the pandemic world. Their social and educational activities have been totally disrupted.

While grieving is a normal reaction, the activities above can help teens find a new passion to explore and alleviate some of the boredom.

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