Why is STEM education so important?
India is 2nd most populated country, with so much of curious minds present in our country Why India is still called a developing country, not a developed country? the answer to this question is innovation in our country is at a slow-rate as compare to other developed countries and where we are lacking is creating a strong base for our kids who will be the future of our country. The global economy is changing. Current jobs are disappearing due to automation and new jobs are emerging every day as a result of technological advances. Thus with advances in every field, we need an education that helps our kids in coping up with the fast-paced world, and stem education plays an important role in preparing today’s children to become the innovators and inventors of tomorrow. Let us discuss what is STEM, how it is affecting our lives, and why it is so important?
What is STEM?
STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics. These four terms are not just academic subjects isolated and discrete from each other, STEM integrates them into a cohesive learning paradigm based on real-world applications which help us in better decision-making skills. STEM education is more of an inquiry-based approach, which means it encourages kids to ask questions for deeper understanding. This type of education also provides real-life scenarios that kids solve with a hands-on approach.
Science - Science is everywhere in the world around us. It teaches our kids to experiment which helps them in understanding wider topics with different scenarios.
Technology - In 2025 almost 65% of jobs will be related to technology which means our future is full of opportunities related to technology, so why not start preparing our kids for the future.
Engineering - Engineering is a whole skillset, Engineers are often called multitaskers. The life skills engineering teaches is priceless, it helps in learning the
Maths - Maths helps in explaining how patterns are formed and how they are repeated. Help your child look for patterns in the world such as repeating numbers on a license plate or rings of wood on a cut tree trunk. It helps in developing critical thinking and problem-solving skills in kids.
STEM education aims at learning creatively, growing, and implementing whatever we learned. Growth is important for all of us and growth increases exponentially when we start the teaching from roots, it helps in building creativity in kids. The main problem with kids is no practical implementation which is resolved using stem which encourages kids to learn from every aspect and implementing it for better understanding, it focuses on learning with real-life examples.
When should Stem-based learning for kids to start?
At an early age, a kid’s brain to knowledge is like a sponge is to water. Thus we should start their stem-based learning as soon as they can start identifying objects. Understand this with this example, when a building is constructed do we start directly with the 3rd or 4th floor? No, we start by giving a strong base for better support. Similarly, we should start our kids learning from an early age for a better base. According to some studies we can consider 2 as the base age for starting stem-based learning. According to several child counselors, the first six years of your child are the most important formative years where the child learns several life skills. Also, From birth to age 5, a child’s brain develops more than at any other time in life. And early brain development has a lasting impact on a child’s ability to learn and succeed in school and life. Thus, the starting 5 years are the most important and crucial.
Importance of STEM Education
How STEM is different from traditional Education?
STEM integrates a set of major subjects. The major problem with traditional education is teaching is done in isolation. By isolation I mean the subjects are taught without relating to each other, while the fact is they all are intertwining. Let us understand how they are inter-related, look around you, and identify one object and try to fit it into any of the subjects of the stem. You can't because they all are cohesive, you can't choose one.
Science and Math lead to technology development, which is then integrated with engineering to make it useful in our life. The whole point is to make you understand that the basics of traditional education systems are not conventional. This is a paradigm shift from traditional education, which vitally lacks in hands-on learning, to learning that is much better and deeper as it involves learning by doing just like curiousJr. Children make mistakes, learn from those mistakes, and tackle with a better approach, this provides overall development.
One basic flaw of the traditional education system is that kids are not able to apply the concepts to real problems which nullify their whole learning and lowering their productivity or understandability and hence implementation.
Skills derived from STEM Education
We have discussed how STEM education is helping our kids to grow in a better way. But what do we mean when we say grow? these are skills that develop in our kids that helps them in many aspects of their life. The pace of world evolution in the last 50 years has been unprecedented historically. The change is so rapid that the thing we know or we have, become obsolete in just a few months. Thus we need a set of skills to cope up with these rapid changes. Thus, let us discuss several skills that we learn from stem education:
- Critical thinking
STEM Education requires students to systematically think through problems and applying the learning to solve those problems. To solve these problems they study technology and engineering to find the best solution. Cross-curricular projects also engage different parts of students’ brains so that they are seeing the project through different points of view, and making their brain think wider and focusing on details while also learning to step back and look at the bigger picture.
2. Problem Solving
STEM projects help students to solve problems in unique ways because they’re encouraged to use a variety of methods to solve the problems that pop up during these types of activities. They are always motivated to level up their boundaries and capabilities at the same time. By implementing learn, do mistakes, and try chain helps them in learning from mistakes, and thinking outside the box, students let go of the orthodox approach of applying a known method or formula to solve a set of problems in a step-by-step way. With STEM, they are allowed to test their creative abilities and push beyond socially set boundaries. They learn how to apply their knowledge to solve problems that occur in their lives, like fixing a broken toy or figuring out how to build a perfect LEGO castle.
3. Data-driven Decision Making
Students need to be able to make a decision not just based on what they think or feel, but on scientific data that supports the best solution. whether the career is in STEM or not this skill is helpful in every field. We should know how to use data for taking informed decision making.
4. Soft Skills
STEM focuses not just on science, technology, engineering, and math, but also on the child’s entire learning process that includes the development of soft skills. Unlike our traditional education, a STEM education encourages and demands collaborative thinking at every level, which allows children to get ready for their future where soft skills like leadership and teamwork will be an essential part of life. Moreover, when tackling a STEM project, students are required to work towards a solution using a range of skills and creativity. Through these projects, your child is learning independent work and self-management.
5. Leadership Skills
Everyone wants to be a leader but there is a popular saying that leaders are not born they are created and STEM education helps in creating these leaders. STEM projects help kids in taking the lead by giving various ideas and initiating them. Not only leadership skills it promotes confidence in them for being a great leader.
Change is becoming a huge part of our world. One needs to be flexible to cope up with these changes. Imagine how the situation changes in movies if actors are not flexible with all situations then it will affect their performance. Similarly, If kids are not taught to be flexible they will be affected if any changes occur in the education system or their job. Thus, through this education, we can help our kids to be flexible.
We can conclude that stem-based learning gives a new turn to the traditional education system with more innovative ideas and less isolated. Various skills, kids can learn from STEM are priceless and will contribute to their future. 80% of the time kids are at home thus they can learn most from home. Thus parents have a huge job to do as home-based learning is more informal and more comfortable for kids thus they learn more and there are no age restrictions to learn new things, maybe you can also learn what lacked in your education system.
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