Why STEM education is so important
What is STEM education, and why is it important?
In education, STEM is an approach that connects learning experiences to real-world situations. It helps students develop skills based on their particular interests and guides them through project-based learning. STEM prepares learners to be key contributors to society in our ever-changing world.
While it may seem that STEM is about learning scientific disciplines, it has more to do with acquiring the skills behind them. Also, STEM programs allow for more personalized learning, which inspires curiosity and fosters creativity in students.
STEM programs have not become part of the core curriculum of public schools in the United States, and only a small percentage of public schools have STEM programs in their teaching methodologies. So, if you’ve ever wondered: What are the benefits of private schools? A STEM curriculum is one of them!
The STEM Education approach has been present for quite a while, but it has gained more traction during the last decade. Why is it becoming so popular? This teaching and learning approach is beneficial for students and society.
What does STEM stand for in education?
The term STEM is an acronym that alludes to the disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. By merging these fields, STEM teaches students scientific concepts that are applied outside of the classroom to real-life situations.
What are the benefits of STEM education?
STEM programs have many benefits for learners. The skills that students learn prepare them for rewarding careers and personal growth. Some of these benefits are:
- Increased creativity and innovation
- Problem-solving skills
- Critical thinking
- Ability to adapt
- Tech literacy
How does STEM education improve student learning?
STEM education improves students’ learning by encouraging them to explore topics of their interest. Learners develop skills through learning experiences that apply to the real world, making the learning process fun.
Students take on assignments based on inquiries, which prompts them to solve different issues. They achieve this through driving questions and research. They also collaborate, as it becomes a pillar to find solutions and pushes learners to polish their communication skills.
Additionally, STEM improves students' learning experience by exposing them to failure. Instead of becoming intimidated by or afraid, students embrace failure and see it as a challenge; an opportunity to learn and grow. They don’t become discouraged when an experiment does not have the intended results; instead, they become more motivated to pursue the correct alternatives.
How can STEM education shape the future?
STEM programs can impact the future of our country and the world. These programs prepare our future professionals for the workforce and help narrow gender and ethnic gaps.
A STEM program is designed to foster an innovative culture by igniting people's curiosity in early childhood. A STEM approach will ensure that the next generation of professionals will be equipped with the hard and soft skills required to keep our country a global leader.
Moreover, STEM careers continue to be some of the most lucrative and in-demand careers worldwide. New technologies and advancements of science concepts also continue to bring a breadth of opportunities in new, profitable and exciting careers.
However, there is a shortage of professionals, particularly from women and other ethnic minorities in these fields. By exposing children to these disciplines from an early age, we allow women and people of color to find representation in them. This works as a bridge between the gender and ethnic gaps these industries face.
How does STEM education help students?
An educational approach based on STEM helps students prepare for life beyond the classroom. It focuses on teaching subjects comprehensively, allowing learners to thoroughly understand how the world works.
It differs widely from the other traditional approaches. Rather than assessing learners through standardized testing, teachers have the job of a facilitator. They help students understand the connection between these subjects and focus on identifying which elements of the programs are implemented effectively.
Furthermore, the learning experiences help prepare students for careers in these fields. And even if they end up pursuing other career paths, the skills that young people learn will help them become great professionals and better citizens of the world.
The inquiry-based projects transform the learning experiences into fun activities that push children to become team players, leaders, and excellent communicators. They also develop skills like ingenuity and tech literacy, setting them up for success.
Why is STEM education important?
This approach to education prepares students for the careers of the future, and it also gives them the tools to face and solve some of the most complex issues in the world. Education based on a STEM approach is essential for individuals and society's future.
STEM disciplines play a significant role in the global economy. Especially in the U.S., it allows our country to be one of the world’s development leaders. Each component of the STEM approach focuses on developing the skills that young people need to meet future labor demands.
More than that, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are also essential contributors to a prosperous society. The advancement in medicine, software, and space exploration has been possible thanks to merging these fields.
The world’s most ambitious pursuits will always depend on the skills that STEM education helps young people develop, including the critical thinking skills of scientists, the problem-solving skills of engineers, the ingenuity of inventors, and the in-depth analysis skills of mathematicians.
In Massachusetts, STEM education has become a topic of interest. Efforts like the STEM WEEK, organized by the Executive Office of Education and the STEM Advisory Council, aim to encourage young people to pursue careers in these fields, especially those who belong to an underrepresented demographic.
In conclusion, the popularity of STEM educational programs comes as no surprise. As humans aim to continue improving the quality of life globally, STEM fields can meet the demand for innovation. These programs are powerful allies that ensure the sustainability of these critical fields by driving students’ curiosity and creativity towards solutions.
At Wilbraham & Monson Academy, we understand the importance of STEM as an educational approach and offer a program that transforms students’ learning experiences. Our academic program offers numerous Advanced Placement courses and a state-of-the-art iLab fit for the future leaders, scientists, entrepreneurs, and inventors of the world.
Contact our Admission Office for more information on how we equip students for success!