We’re sure by now you have probably heard how important STEM is. But what exactly is STEM education? The acronym STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. According to the National Science Teachers Association, “ STEM education is an interdisciplinary approach to learning where rigorous academic concepts are coupled with real-world lessons as students apply science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in contexts that make connections between school, community, work, and the global enterprise enabling the development of STEM literacy and with it the ability to compete in the new economy.”
However, STEM isn’t just for students who want careers in STEM fields. At the heart of STEM education is about problem-solving and critical thinking, it’s essential for everyone.
What Makes STEM Different From
Traditional Science and Math?
The difference between traditional education and STEM is the blended learning environment and the scientific method that is relevant to everyday life. STEM encourages students to think deeply and focus on real-world applications of problem-solving. STEM education typically begins at the start of the child’s educational journey.
STEM Programs In Elementary Schools
In elementary schools, STEM education primarily focuses on the introduction of STEM courses, as well as STEM fields and occupations. The goal is to pique students’ genuine interest in wanting to pursue STEM. This initial step is the foundation of connecting all four of the STEM subjects while providing standards-based structured inquiry-based and real-world problem-based learning.
STEM Programs In Middle and High Schools
At this stage in your child’s STEM education journey, in middle school, the courses are becoming more challenging and students begin to explore STEM-related careers. Once students enter high school STEM focuses on the application of the four stem subjects in a challenging and rigorous fashion. At this stage of your child’s STEM education journey, more emphasis is being placed on bridging in-school and out-of-school STEM opportunities.
Why STEM Education Matters
STEM jobs are the future of our economy and it’s projected that employment in STEM is projected to grow 8.8% by 2028. According to the United States Department of Labor, STEM workers earned an average of $86,980 in 2019. Jobs that require STEM backgrounds typically provide solid wages and career paths. However, STEM isn’t simply for students who plan to enter STEM careers. All students can benefit from the logical thought-processes and problem-solving that STEM allows and develop mental habits that will help them thrive in any field. Students in STEM develop interpersonal and collaboration skills they will need later on in life. Recent events have only intensified the need for technology skills. The pandemic reinforced the importance of ensuring that students are equipped to use and develop technology. By taking action now by bridging the gap between educators and youth to STEM education, you are innovating the future and setting students up for success in 2021 and beyond.
Innovate your Classroom With
Whether you have a 1:1 initiative, need to better utilize legacy technology such as interactive whiteboards, or need to integrate your learning management system – STEM U, LLC has the in-depth experience to support your needs. We empower educators to build an engaging, active, student-centered learning environment by focusing on their curriculum, cross-content goals, and desired outcomes for their students. Contact us today to learn more about our services and partnership opportunities.