STEM—science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—is a curriculum based on these four ideas. Instead of segregating these four disciplines in separate and discrete subjects, STEM interlinks them together into a cohesive learning paradigm, which is based on real-world applications. The goal behind integrating these four significant topics is to induce a sense of curiosity among students about a plethora of other related subjects including aerospace engineering, computer science, physics, chemistry, biology, and more.
The general idea of igniting a sense of curiosity among children stems from the significant factor that is passed on from parents to their kids. From their early years, children are encouraged to view the world in front of them with much enthusiasm; even if they do not understand the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics behind why a certain thing works the way it works, they are naturally drawn towards it.
By exposing students to STEM and giving them opportunities to explore STEM-related concepts, they will develop a passion for it that could even convert to them pursuing a job in the STEM field. But developing such an interest in students around STEM and its other range of subjects requires well-detailed and formulated STEM textbooks and papers.
Focused on educating children about the four significant disciplines, STEM publishing has a wide-open market. Today, not many textbooks exist that portray STEM in a way that attracts and retains readers who are kids, thus opening up a massive avenue for many STEM writers and publishers. But first, what exactly is STEM publishing?
To put it simply, STEM publishing refers to delivering STEM education through published textbooks, papers, and journals in an imaginative and educative manner. Highly interactive content that highlights the meaning of STEM and benefits of studying four subjects as intertwined with one another and their interdependence on one another.
In a more elaborate way, in the field of STEM, writing and publishing STEM topics and subjects act as a solid foundation upon which young kids learn to interact with the real-world application through four main pillars of STEM.
For instance, study programs that offer educative yet straightforward engineering experiments for kids provide opportunities to children to explore and experience how STEM concepts relate to real life. Apart from just published content, STEM activities offered in the textbooks offer a chance for kids to get hands-on and minds-on lessons about STEM and its other disciplines.
Many publishers have now turned their attention toward publishing textbooks that support kids in their scholarly education. From a broader perspective, STEM publishing can range from explaining basic and middle-grade science, technology, engineering, and mathematics topics to publishing highly acclaimed academic as well as research papers in national and international journals.
Benefits of STEM Education
According to the US National Science Foundation (NSF), “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 levels much beyond what was considered acceptable in the past.” This statement highlights that STEM is an important learning topic for every student of the current century.
The main principle behind STEM education is to reduce the stress and anxiety among young kids by placing a high focus on the student’s capability to learn and grow. STEM education plays many imperative roles from fostering creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, and communication to building resilience, encouraging experimentation and research.
However, students do not only benefit theoretical knowledge from learning STEM but also gain a real-life, practical understanding of working in a team, using technology in day-to-day life, and developing problem-solving skills.
More profoundly, STEM also acts as a stepping stone for women to enter the math and science fields. Governments around the globe have established numerous initiatives to encourage women to come out and participate in STEM-related fields.
With STEM publishing having gained immense popularity, STEM education breaks the traditional gender roles in the scientific and technological areas by empowering young girls to pick up their favorite textbooks with formulas, experiments, and research.
However, STEM publishers carry the load for igniting and encouraging kids to take their first step toward STEM education. If not for STEM publishing, none of the above benefits would result in fruition.
Things Publishers Should Keep in Mind while Publishing STEM Textbooks
1. Scrutinize the Audience – Kids, young adults, researchers
Surveying the audience before STEM publishing is a must first step for every publisher. A STEM textbook meant for kids could not have complex formulas and theorems, and a STEM journal intended for skilled researchers would not do good if it contained ‘experiments for dummies.’
2. Content – Engaging, Informative, and Imaginative
Content is the king. Undoubtedly, an engaging content that sheds light on the fun part of STEM is essential to grab the short attention span of kids. If the activity is not fun, it is not worth paying attention to.
For children, even the experiments and research activities must be full of a unique and creative way. Engage your little one to make giant soap bubbles. Drop Mentos into a bottle of diet soda or soft drink and stand back to watch the geyser eruption. Launch your rocket made of scratch using canisters. The possibilities are endless.
3. Subjects – Not Limited to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
Learning to build a pyramid is not a common STEM concept, but STEM publishers must ensure to keep such topics in the textbooks. While the small Do It Yourself (DIY) activity may turn into a disaster, parents must encourage their little ones to pick up the textbook again and again if the subjects are fun and go beyond just teaching the basics of four disciplines.
4. Ignite curiosity and maintain it – Critical thinking and Problem Solving
By creating exciting adventures and stories that unfold into mathematics and numbers, STEM publishers can develop critical thinking and problem-solving characteristics in children. After all, kids love adventure and stories.