Competition continues to be on the rise, and so do technological advancements. As a result, jobs are becoming more technical, and skilled professionals are quickly becoming the need of the hour.
Now, how can we ensure that the new generation is equipped with skills that make bagging coveted jobs a breeze? The solution lies in STEM learning. What is this type of learning exactly? In this article, we’ll dive into the details and tell you all you need to know with answers to these 10 common FAQs related to K12 STEM learning.
Table of Contents
- What does STEM stand for?
- What is STEM learning?
- What does STEM learning involve?
- What is the difference between STEM and traditional education?
- Why do students need STEM learning?
- What are the benefits of STEM learning for K12 students?
- What are some STEM-related career prospects?
- What is STEAM learning?
- What is STEM/CS learning?
- How can an educator incorporate STEM learning in a K12 classroom?
1. What does STEM stand for?
STEM is an abbreviation for four terms – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.
2. What is STEM learning?
STEM is the evolved form of the National Science Foundation’s SMET (NSF, USA).
It is an interdisciplinary approach to learning that combines the disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and math.
STEM learning focuses on connecting the real world with the classroom by following an application-based approach to teaching.
3. What does STEM learning involve?
STEM learning involves different things at different levels of education.
a. Elementary School Level
At this level, students are introduced to the basic structure of the four subjects of STEM. They are made aware of the connections between them.
They are also briefly told about the occupations involving the use of STEM. This is all done to inspire and evoke a students’ curiosity about STEM learning.
b. Middle School Level
At this level, students are made aware of the academic requirements for STEM learning. The lessons become rigorous and can come across as challenging. Students are told about STEM-related careers in detail.
c. High School Level
At this level, students are taught to apply their theoretical knowledge to real-world applications. They also pursue courses that ease the path to higher studies and make them ready for employment.
4. What is the difference between STEM and traditional education?
Traditional education focuses mainly on individual subjects. Unlike this, STEM education focuses on the correlation between all its disciplines. It is more of a connected and integrated form of learning, while traditional education involves a segregated form of learning.
In addition, STEM’s teaching approach revolves around the interests and the learning styles of a student, while this might not be the case each time with traditional education.
Traditional education relies heavily on theoretical learning. However, STEM education relies on a blend of theory and applications taught through video lessons, activities, projects, etc.
5. Why do students need STEM learning?
STEM learning is very important in today’s day and age. It teaches students how to think critically. This helps them analyze any problem and the solution’s merits and demerits. It also encourages students to enquire about things, such as the world surrounding them.
Moreover, on a technological level, STEM education enhances the computational and analytical thinking of students. This helps them approach a problem by breaking it down into smaller parts.
6. What are the benefits of STEM learning for K12 students?
The benefits of STEM learning are endless. Some of them are as follows:
- It develops higher-order thinking skills like critical thinking, problem-solving, decision-making, and research skills.
- It provides a holistic learning experience.
- It increases the possibility of employment in a research unit.
- It opens the scope for lucrative job opportunities at a global level.
- It keeps the students up-to-date with upcoming technological advancements.
7. What are some STEM-related career prospects?
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (2019-29), employment in STEM-related fields is projected to increase by 8% by 2029.
Most STEM-related employment opportunities are present in the domain of computers, mathematics, management, teaching, engineering, architecture, life and physical sciences, etc.
Some of the jobs or career options within these domains include:
- Computer programmer
- Architectural engineer
- Analytics manager
- Airplane assembler
- Scientific researcher
8. What is STEAM learning?
STEAM learning is a trend in education that incorporates the addition of arts to STEM. Here, arts emphasize the creative process and the problem-solving process in STEM. STEAM learning is centered around discussions, creative exploration, and developing collaboration skills.
9. What is STEM/CS learning?
STEM/CS learning is another trend in education that incorporates the addition of computer science to STEM. Apart from STEM, it emphasizes the need to understand computers, their processes, and ways to design a software program.
10. How can an educator incorporate STEM learning in a K12 classroom?
There are many ways to incorporate STEM learning in a K12 classroom. Some of the things educators can do are:
- Provide the students with interactive eBooks from a STEM publishing site containing case studies as an assessment method.
- Show digital simulations and models of scientific systems and use the same for other disciplines.
- Assign group projects to students where they need to use their knowledge to design a blueprint. This blueprint can represent a science model that helps solve real-life problems.
- Provide material to conduct a hands-on activity or a science experiment in class. A University of Chicago study shows that learning by doing things helps students to perform better in science.
- Hold regular discussions and encourage students to ask questions about the concept they have been taught in class.
The End Note
STEM learning is the need of the hour in today’s time. It enhances the creative power of students by helping them come up with different ideas and perspectives.
It helps them solve real-life problems by applying concepts and problem-solving skills. It makes students better decision-makers, critical thinkers, and, ultimately, innovators.
It is clear that STEM learning is essential for K12 students. Now, how can you ensure, as an educator, that it reaches every student?
KITABOO can help distribute STEM curriculum material for you. KITABOO is a secure cloud-based platform that helps create, publish and distribute educational content.
To know more about how we can help with your STEM requirements, write to us at KITABOO@hurix.com.
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