What Is STEM And Why Is It Essential For Kids?

Table of Contents

S- Science

T- Technology

E- Engineering

M- Mathematics

STEM learning is a popular learning approach.

It stands for Science, Technology and Mathematics and as the name suggests, it is an integration of all the four fields.

Instead of focusing on theoretical knowledge, more importance is given to real-world problems and how to solve them. 

A person with intensive STEM knowledge doesn’t need any degree to get a job as it teaches the necessary skills required.

Key Takeaways

  • What is STEM? STEM is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines – science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
  • STEM learning emphasizes on bridging the learning gap by putting the children at the core of the experience, making them active learners from passive listeners.
  • STEM education is more of an enquiry-based approach wherein the kids learn through experiments and STEM activities.

What is STEM?

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, and STEM Education refers to the study of these subjects from both a theoretical and practical viewpoint. 

In 2001, the scientific administrators of the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the United States announced STEM.

A STEM curriculum is meant to provide students with as much practical experience and exposure to a specific subject as possible. 

It provides an ideal combination of course modules with a few required lab assignments and group projects that help in learning via the practical application of theoretical information.

STEM in School

Since STEM is so practical and is the need of the hour, governments across the globe try to integrate this approach into school learning.

In elementary school, STEM based learning majorly concentrates on awareness generation through beginner level courses.

Now, this can capture student’s interests and finally leads to them opting for this career path.

In middle school, STEM courses get more demanding. Students can now begin exploring STEM-related careers.

In high school, the focus is on the application of STEM rigorously.

Courses are now available such that they focus on preparing a student for post-secondary and preparing them for jobs.

Why is STEM important? 

In a technologically advanced world, we don’t need our schools or colleges to teach us facts. 

Those can be Googled! 

But instead, education should be about how to solve everyday problems and to get ahead with real-world issues.

So, according to you, why is STEM important? Let me tell you the importance of STEM.

The promotion of STEM is associated with promoting critical thinking.

Analysing today’s everyday data, it becomes all the more critical to evaluate the information being consumed.

Skill development should be the focus rather than rote learning.

STEM does not need high-tech gadgets. 

One can get started with STEM by simply looking at an issue and trying to find its solutions.

Although learning about advancements in the field of science should be a part of everyday learning, one shouldn’t confine their thinking because of that.

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Getting started with STEM

As already mentioned, STEM education can start as early as elementary schools.

To pique your interests, you can start by looking at various posters, articles etc, regarding the same.

There are so many books that promote the STEM form of learning.

But again traditional learning needs to be integrated with STEM to be taken seriously. It should be a form of living, a way to have fun.

Being able to solve problems just for the sake of solving the issue and not grades is how a person should think.

Now to get started, one should be able to identify their areas of interest and problems in their related field in the real world.

Then one can start thinking for ideas on how to solve them.

Recently an A has been added in the STEM to make it STEAM. This A stands for art.

This highlights the creative problem-solving approach that one needs to work on for this new form of learning.

Art is a form of expressing what is on one’s mind and helps in better illustration of the problem.

Thus leading to a much clearer path and insight into the solution to be finally obtained.

STEM vs Traditional Schooling

The traditional education system is wholly focused on instilling theoretical knowledge in students. 

It focuses on books and figures and pays little attention to the practical part or implementation of these theories; this situation changes with the performance of STEM. 

Among its core values, STEM aims to teach children topics by emphasising the use of concepts in real life.

The traditional education system operates with a strict set of rules, with clear definitions of what is right and what is wrong. 

Although this taught the theory perfectly, it did not leave room for growth or innovative thinking.

STEM focuses on stimulating the brain and giving it free space to create, rather than simply copying what the world knows.

For this reason, various new-age inventions and discoveries such as 3D printers, water treatment machines, etc., are attributed to STEM.

With the continuous development of technology, traditional pencil and paper education methods have become increasingly dull. 

Updating the educational system to make it exciting and interactive is the most popular way to keep children interested in education. 

Although traditional educational methods are effective at any given time, changes in the environment make interactive educational systems like STEM necessary and significantly superior to conventional education.

Disadvantages of Learning STEM

STEM learning is widely regarded as a beneficial method of imparting education, but like all other methods, it also has its own disadvantages.

The biggest problem with STEM education is that there are no hard and fast guidelines on what students should learn or what qualifications teachers should have. 

Each course at each school is different and focuses on various topics, so some courses may not fully prepare students for college.

Another disadvantage of STEM projects is that they can sometimes become very elitist. Students who are fully prepared and motivated will naturally succeed, but students who are not prepared will often fall behind. 

These programs usually do not provide services for underperforming students, which results in those students being left behind.

Conclusion

So, you must have got an idea of what is STEM and why is STEM important.

All the information given above indicates that STEM education at an early age is essential for the abundant growth of students fuelled by practical knowledge and experience. 

STEM based learning is very essential for students so that they can practically grow and learn.

The impact of STEM increases by a considerable margin when introduced at an early age because the child can tap into their creativity and create a pragmatic implementation out of a single idea.

Adopting STEM can prove to be beneficial for most students. And, in today’s date upskilling the youth has become an important aspect for all of us.

Laboratory instruments may significantly contribute to STEM education by delivering cutting-edge technology, more excellent safety standards, and an intuitive, pleasurable user experience.

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Frequently Asked Questions 

What is STEM?

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and is often used to describe the suite of academic disciplines necessary for achieving and maintaining technical and scientific careers.

Why is STEM education so important?

STEM education is directly linked with humanity’s prosperity. The creations and innovations by scientists and engineers make the lives of people better. 

To strongly support the rate of such breakthroughs, it is essential to introduce STEM education early on, resulting in researchers with more vital knowledge and experience to use and apply to better people’s lifestyles.

Why is mentoring so important for anyone pursuing higher education or a STEM career?

In any career path, coaching is an essential aspect of professional development. 

Influential mentors can help the next generation of STEM professionals meet new challenges in and outside the workplace, and they can provide a variety of opportunities.

What is STEM education system?

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics whereas STEM Education refers to studying these areas with theoretical as well as a practical approach.

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