Building a satisfying andsuccessful career in science and engineering is a lengthy journey that requiresyears of preparation and training. Many students begin pursuing this careerpath at university but find the math and science classes to be overwhelming andgive up on this pursuit in defeat. Parents can encourage their children todevelop the patience and logical thinking required to be a successful scientistor engineer by encouraging them to play board games at a young age.
Board games are a systemof interactions based on rules. Mathematics, physics, and computer programmingall focus on the understanding and use of rules-based systems to solve problems. When a parent sits down with their child and teaches them the rulesto a new game, that child is learning how to adapt their thinking to a newsystem with a new set of rules.
Eventually this child will want to teach afriend how to play the game and will have to make the leap from listening tothe rules to internalizing this system and communicating the attributes of thissystem to another person. At school, this skill transfers to an ability toexplain how to solve a complex mathematical problem.
Many boardgames require
aplayer to operate within different types of constraints such as
limitedresources to spend or limited movements to make. In order to win
the game, aplayer must figure out how to optimize their actions within
these constraintsin order to take the shortest path to victory.
Cultivating this type of mindsetwill help your child to think about optimal methods to solve a problem on atest with a time limit at school. Engineers are constantly required to developproducts within a set of constraints such as cost, time and capacity. Playinggames can make this type of thinking a habit that transfers into betterperformance at school and on the job.
Playing games togetherwith your children is an enjoyable experience on its own. Be assured that thistime together is not just a brief period of amusement. These games are a toolto introduce logical and methodical thinking which will be useful to your childfor a lifetime, no matter what career path they choose.
Recommended games to playwith children(ages 10+) to encourage logical thinking:
Settlers of Catan