In STEM Education, we emphasise engagement with students across all of these subjects, especially on integrating these subjects in various ways. An instance of this is when a science lesson incorporates maths and engineering, also when a maths lesson incorporates the use of technology. There is a plethora of these combinations…
“There’s a way to do it better, find it.” – Thomas Edison
Recently I have been getting a lot of questions from people who stop me at the gym, on the street or at events, after being recognised for my recent TV appearances. The common theme through these discussions is the question; “What exactly is STEM?” “Don’t we already do that already with what we teach our students?”
I have written lots of articles about STEM and realised, listening to them all, that I hadn’t adequately addressed this issue. I forgot one of my basic tenets in teaching is scaffolding; building a foundation and laying more blocks upon that.
Here we go:
STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths. Activities that are STEM-based integrate these four areas of learning. For example, a block-building activity can involve experimenting and learning about the natural world (Science), using tools to measure (Technology), solving a problem during building (Engineering), and comparing the sizes of blocks (Maths).
Industry leaders across the world are striving to make it a top priority to boost these skills in STEM education from the first day of school and onward. They are all investing into programmes, and even the former U.S. president, Barack Obama and Canadian Justin Trudeau had been making it part of their agendas to increase funding for more programmes and opportunities for the youth.
In STEM Education, we emphasise engagement with students across all of these subjects, especially on integrating these subjects in various ways. An instance of this is when a science lesson incorporates maths and engineering, also when a maths lesson incorporates the use of technology. There is a plethora of these combinations and they are remarkable on how wonderfully they engage our students. STEM education brings curriculum to life, stressing the relevance of learning in the real world, and makes students understand problem solving in a revolutionary way.
1. Why should we care? It’s the economy, stupid! (Shaking my head at the saying!) Seriously though, jobs in STEM-related ﬁelds are growing at 17 percent. Those in this fields are the next generation of innovators. Our society needs innovators to make ensure it’s success in the future. And the icing on the cake? Graduates with STEM degrees have higher incomes than other graduates, even when they work in non-STEM careers.
“STEM careers” are more than just being an engineer, a doctor, scientist, web developer, and data researcher. STEM careers enscapsulate tons of career paths – most of which lead to great salaries!
STEM careers are in high demand and there aren’t enough people to fill up the opening slots. “STEM careers” are more than just being an engineer, a doctor, scientist, web developer, and data researcher. STEM careers enscapsulate tons of career paths – most of which lead to great salaries! The Financial Post published an article discussing five investment trends to look out for, and a push for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths) education initiatives was high amongst the list.
The article spoke highly of the value that STEM education brings to the future job market, as well as the value of creating innovative engineers and developers to boost the economy. In fact, it refers to STEM education as a “the best investment a corporation or governmental entity could make – it didn’t take rocket science to figure that out – one that should be delved into with immediate urgency.”
2. It’s more than just the economy! STEM Education aids in the development of “soft-skills” that are fundamentally important to every job your child will have. Students are led to learning to creating their own research questions; to master teamwork; carry out their own experiments, thrive with failure, as they learn from mistakes and extract connections between various subjects.
3. STEM Education produces future problem solvers! Scholastic believes that the “Science” and “Engineering” in STEM endows our students with processes that enable them to carry out investigations into multiple topics and questions. The Scientific Method and Engineering Process are a step-by-step process used by students to ask questions, test ideas, and draw conclusions on their own. The students’ conclusions often come from drawing connections between multiple subjects and discussions with their peer groups.
In general, once students are exposed to STEM Education, they develop the follow skills automatically:
• Creative Problem Solving;
• Critical Thinking;
• Ability to Connect Multiple Ideas;
We need to focus on getting our students engaged with STEM education in fun and effective ways. Our children deserve to be future ready now!