Perhaps your kid is still young to seriously decide that they will follow a career related to science or technology. However, they are probably old enough to develop an interest or a hobby. If you have a young daughter and want to head her toward STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), one simple way is to just let her play video games, according to a recent study.

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Girls prove to be as competitive as boys when it comes to video games.

The research by the University of Surrey published in the Computers in Human Behaviour journal claims that playing video games at a young age often lead girls to studying majors related to science and technology. The researchers, with Dr. Anesa Hosein as the leader, found that the chance that a 13/14-year-old girl who engages in heavy gaming will follow a career in STEM is three times higher in comparision to a girl who doesn’t. “Heavy gaming” in this case means playing video games nine hours per week or more.

This discovery could have various implementations in education. Dr. Hosein suggests that when a teacher or parent sees that a girl has an interest in gaming, they could encourage her to follow a career in STEM. Alternatively, maybe schools should include gaming in STEM degrees in general. She also states that it is crucial to watch out for stereotypes. Not all “gamer girls” are the same, though they might feel the pressure to prove themselves for others to take them seriously, both as gamers and as scientists.

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Playing video games can help young girls to sharpen their hand-eye co-ordination skills.

Furthermore, the result shows that 100% of the girls studied in this research who were already studing STEM identified as gamers.

The video game industry is one of the motivations behind the development of science and technology. Additionally, games can be an useful tool for education. For example, they help with teaching basic literacy. There have been several stories of kids with dyslexia or other disorders overcoming their challenges by playing games such as Minecraft or Skyrim.

The reason behind this could be that several video games, especially those of the role-playing genre, encourage and reward reading. Kids are much more likely to push themselves to read while playing video games than during lessons.

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