What is the Value of STEM Education?
Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education puts an emphasis on preparing future generations to be successful in their careers. The skills gained from STEM education extend beyond those needed to be successful in STEM fields, preparing children with varied interests who move into any industry to have valuable skill sets that allow them to be successful.
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What is STEM?
STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. STEM is important because it pervades every part of our lives. Science is everywhere in the world around us. Technology is continuously expanding into every aspect of our lives. Engineering is the basic designs of roads and bridges, but also tackles the challenges of changing global weather and environmentally-friendly changes to our home. Mathematics is in every occupation, every activity we do in our lives.
By exposing students to STEM and giving them opportunities to explore STEM-related concepts, they will develop a passion for it and hopefully pursue a job in a STEM field. A curriculum that is STEM-based has real-life situations to help the student learn. STEM activities provide hands-on and minds-on lessons for the student. Making math and science both fun and interesting helps the student to do much more than just learn.
Skills Derived from STEM Education
STEM-based education teaches children more than science and mathematics concepts. The focus on hands-on learning with real-world applications helps develop a variety of skill sets, including creativity and 21st-century skills.
21st-century skills include media and technology literacy, productivity, social skills, communication, flexibility, and initiative. Other skills attained through STEM education include problem-solving, critical thinking, creativity, curiosity, decision-making, leadership, entrepreneurship, acceptance of failure and more. Regardless of the future career path considered by these children, these skill sets go a long way to preparing them to be innovative.
The Importance of Innovation
The ability to think critically and challenge standards is the basis of innovation. According to the Equality of Opportunity Project (EOP), innovation is a critical component of economic growth. Innovative thinkers are the movers and shakers that have the potential to change the world.
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How to Prepare Future Generations to Be Innovators
Preparing today’s children to become the innovators and inventors of tomorrow begins with STEM education programs. Summer camps, after school programs and maker spaces provide opportunities to take traditional learning and pivot it to prioritize the hands-on experience and real-world application necessary for developing an innovative mind.
Why STEM Education?
According to the National Science Foundation, “In the 21st century, 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 a level much beyond what was considered acceptable in the past.”
STEM education provides students with a well-rounded foundation of skills to help them understand a wide range of concepts and thrive in many industries.
These activities will work for any age and nearly any subject. Try them at home!
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