Technological advancements have been on the rise for over a decade now. In such a scenario, jobs have grown increasingly technical, and the requirement for skilled professionals in the technology industry has spiked.
In order to train the new workforce for these highly technical positions, a lot of emphasis is being laid on the practical applications of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
So, what exactly is STEM learning and why is everyone talking about it?
Let’s dive in.
An Overview to STEM Learning
According to the Scientific Administrators of the American National Science Foundation (NSF), STEM learning is a cohesive study of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (2001).
Although globally, the exact disciplines included within STEM vary, the basic approach stays the same. STEM education approaches learning by focusing on a student’s skills and interests, as opposed to a traditional education system, which focuses mainly on the subject matter.
A STEM curriculum uses its emphasis on technology to display the interconnectedness of other disciplines. It also uses an application-based approach to highlight real-world applications of the theory taught in a classroom. This gives students a holistic learning experience.
Major industries like data management, computer science, software development, aerospace, or a career in science, prerequisite a sound comprehension of STEM.
The Value & Benefits of STEM Learning
The STEM approach to learning has grown in popularity over time. This is because it offers learners(from any study stream) a plethora of benefits.
To begin with, it develops higher level thinking skills. The STEM curriculum aims at establishing an evident connection between the classroom and the world that lies beyond its four walls. While it is important to score well in tests, the STEM approach doesn’t make this the only focus. By encouraging students to apply themselves, it enhances learning as a whole.
Through a STEM education, students are also able to develop their research and problem-solving skills. These, along with a creative and collaborative approach to learning equips them with real-world skills, leading to successful careers and a more qualified workforce.
For individual students STEM learning offers:
- Placements with high remuneration that ensure sound ROI within the first year.
- Prospects of getting employed in a research unit.
- Better career opportunities in terms of jobs or businesses as compared to any other career path.
- Lucrative job opportunities at globally recognized industries.
- Increased chances of immigrating to countries like the US, Canada, the UK, and Australia.
Pursuing a STEM education has significant growth impacts at both the individual and national levels.
Industries are said to be the backbone of any economy. With the global growth of the technology sector, the demand for trained STEM professionals is skyrocketing. This not only ensures employment opportunities for STEM learners, it also implies that they have the potential to boost the economy of a nation.
Additionally, at the national level, STEM learning impacts workforce development, security concerns and immigration policies.
The Challenges with STEM Education
Over the years, there has been an alarming decline in the number of students interested in STEM courses.
One reason for this is that institutions only seem to take an interest in STEM, with older students. In the process, they fail to keep younger children engaged with the STEM approach. By the time the institution implements STEM, a student interest has already been diverted.
Another issue is the lack of infrastructure. As we know, the basis of STEM is practical application. This can be expensive for institutions to implement and therefore the quality of STEM suffers.
A big challenge for STEM education is the ability to keep pace with the job-market. The curriculum needs to be updated on a regular basis in order to be effective.
How to Tackle the Challenges of STEM Education?
For STEM learning to be taken seriously, a cohesive effort must be made by educators and parents alike.
Institutions can begin by enhancing the STEM curriculum they offer by making it interactive and engaging with a digital publishing platform such as KITABOO. With KITABOO, they can update their content at the click of a button and may attempt to make up for some lack of infrastructure.
By adding the right amount of interactivity, children of any age can be drawn towards the STEM curriculum.
The exposure that STEM education entails, eventually helps create independent-thinking students and skilled professionals. Institutions are enhancing and polishing STEM courses to enable students to combat challenges they may encounter and shape career success stories that will further encourage aspiring STEM graduates.
It is also clear that the scope of STEM education is multifaceted and it allows the youth to move beyond traditional gender roles & societal norms. Several initiatives to encourage students globally are also taken on by governments.
The increasing demand for STEM graduates promises students a successful career in the field and catapults their chances to work with internationally renowned technological and scientific industries.
The wholesome learning process also ensures that working individuals are not bogged down by the challenges and can seamlessly adapt to the dynamic and often tumultuous workplace.
STEM education shifts the burden of stress from the students by channeling the focus on the growth of the cognitive capabilities of individuals. With the correct guidance and educational opportunities, aspiring STEM graduates can develop sound acumen, foster creativity, promote critical thinking, and inculcate a problem-solving approach to everything.
To explore how you can enhance the STEM curriculum you provide, write to us at KITABOO@hurix.com.
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