In today’s world it’s important that the youth have the necessary knowledge and skills to solve problems, make sense of information and know how to gather and evaluate evidence to make decisions. These are the kinds of skills that students develop in science, technology, engineering and math disciplines collectively known as STEM. If we want a nation where our future leaders, neighbors and workers have the ability to understand and solve some of the complex challenges of today and tomorrow we need to meet the demands of the dynamic and evolving workforce.
Scientific and technological innovations have become increasingly important as we face the benefits and challenges of both globalization and a knowledge based economy. To succeed in this new information based and highly technological society students need to develop their capabilities in STEM to levels much beyond what was considered acceptable in the past.
A STEM education can be quite beneficial, here’s how:
- It helps you to stay up-to-date: Technology is forever changing. It’s also used in almost every aspect of our lives. As work places change switch to updated software and office equipment and machinery switch to touch screen, STEM knowledge is vital. Keeping up with technology is highly recommended.
- It encourages teamwork: STEM education can be taught to all students. Students of varying levels of ability can work together in teams to find solutions to problems, record data, write reports, give presentations, etc. The end result is students who understand how to collaborate with others and thrive in a team-oriented environment.
- It helps to prioritize the 4 C’s: Irrespective of the age or job title, they’re going to need to know how to interact well with others. STEAM helps develop the necessary 21st century learning skills including creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and communication.
- It helps to gain meaning: STEM curriculum is engaging and motivates students to think about real world scenarios. The concepts make more sense and students are able to understand the value and purpose. This depth of knowledge also leads to a greater understanding.
- It encourages adaption: To succeed in life, students have to be able to apply what they have learned to different scenarios. STEM education teaches them to adapt the concepts that they learn to various sides of a problem or issue.
- It allows experimentation: Without a little risk-taking and experimentation, many of the technological advancements that have occurred in the last couple of decades would not be possible. Many of these innovations were created by people who were told that their ideas wouldn’t work but they still went ahead with it. This type of attitude can be encouraged with STEM education during the growth years by allowing students to experiment and take risks during learning activities.
- It reduces anxiety: The principles of STEM diminish stress by putting the focus on the student’s ability to learn and grow, encouraging a belief in oneself. STEM education stresses the value of failure as a learning exercise, which will enable students to embrace mistakes as part of the learning process. This allows students to build confidence and resilience, which will enable them to keep going when the going gets rough. After all, failure is part of a process that ultimately leads to success.
- It encourages to make a difference: By building homes, finding cures, inventing the best way for people to communicate or helping a parent let go of finical burdens makes a huge difference and with a STEM education you can make that happen.
- It allows you to be innovative: Someone created an app that allows you to take a picture of a piece of clothing and generate similar looks throughout the web. STEM helps to transform new ideas into the best inventions.
- It offers great career prospects with a lucrative income: There are STEM jobs in numerous different fields ranging from research assistant to physics educator. More jobs are added all the time, so you’re never going to find a scarcity of positions for someone with your qualifications. STEM related jobs can be financially rewarding.
- It teaches problem solving: It teaches students how to solve problems by using their critical thinking skills. By engaging in STEM learning experiences, you’ll understand how to examine problems and then create a plan to solve them.
By engaging in STEM education not only does a student gain academic knowledge but also learns through a process of discovery. The experiential learning that children receive from STEM education programs actually opens up a new way of understanding science and technology. The practical experience will help them connect more with the subjects personally which theoretical knowledge fails to achieve.