STEM education provides an important factor in the modern educational system. Especially as our society continues to evolve and the job market changes to reflect a more technological world. If you’ve been hearing a lot about STEM but aren’t sure where to start, we’re here to break down the basics below.
What is STEM Education?
STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. STEM education seeks to blend each of those subjects to create modern 21st-century skills that students are going to need to succeed in future jobs. In STEM education, kids learn how to collaborate, think critically, solve problems, and use evidence.
Here are some examples of what each of the subjects can include in a STEM curriculum:
- Science: biology, chemistry, physics, and related topics
- Technology: analytics, design, computer programming, and coding
- Engineering: electronics, robots, and civil engineering.
- Math: algebra, calculus, trigonometry, and all other math-related disciplines
The goal of STEM is to create an integrated curriculum that melds these topics together perfectly.
Blended Learning Environment
What makes the STEM curriculum different from a regular curriculum is a blended learning environment. This allows students not just to understand concepts but to see how scientific methods are applied and used in everyday life. Rather than teaching memorization of facts or formulas, it teaches students computational thinking. This allows them to focus on real-world applications for problem-solving.
STEM education starts in elementary school to focus on STEM fields and occupations. Saying that, STEM can already be taught in early age. For example, ABCMouse is a STEM online curriculum for kids from 2 years old, and there are many STEM toys for 5-year olds.
These grade levels lay a foundation for real-world problem-based learning and inquiry, while also piquing a student’s interest in different subjects. In middle school, the curriculum becomes more challenging. Here is where students are introduced to STEM fields and occupations. In High School, STEM focuses on the application of subjects, and pathways to stem fields and professions are laid. In this way, STEM bridges every edge to create a very comprehensive educational experience.
STEM education is not only critical for creating an excellent foundation for future careers, but it also helps students to stay competitive and understand real-life concepts. STEM activities both in and outside of school allow students to discern how the world around them works and how specific actions can benefit society as a whole. Children see that what they’re learning is pertinent to themselves, their future, and the future of the world. By fostering a love of STEM-related subjects early on, students take on a much more open-minded global approach to learning.
Most schools are developing their curriculum around STEM concepts so students can stay competitive both while in school and when pursuing new careers.