The Importance of STEM Education
STEM—standing for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—is one of the most talked-about aspects of curriculum for young learners. Part of the reason it is so widely discussed is that the field is rapidly expanding. In fact, the U.S. Department of Commerce stated in 2016 that STEM occupations are growing at a rate of 17 percent compared to other occupations at just 9.8 percent. However, STEM curriculum isn’t only important because of the demand for new jobs.
Students of Acellus Academy are put into courses that promote STEM education from a very young age—as young as kindergarten—to get students excited about and familiar with the concepts that they will learn throughout their K-12 education.
Why Is It Important That We Teach STEM to Children?
The importance of STEM education is vast. First, STEM programs teach children advanced problem-solving strategies by giving them real-world, hands-on experience. Gone are the days of needing to only know basic math and scientific principles. Instead, we now know that it is better to teach children math and science-related topics using an approach that allows children to truly experience how these principles work in the real world. The real-world application of STEM principles can help students better understand the common theories we all learned about in science and math classes as children.
Additionally, teaching kids about STEM topics while they are young can also lead to increased confidence when they need to use said topics later in life. For example, it is much easier for the millennial generation to use computers than it is for baby boomers. This stems from the fact that many millennials grew up with computers in their homes and classrooms, which has made them feel comfortable using computers. The same concept can work with STEM subjects today. The processes used to complete school STEM tasks will be easier to implement for those who have been using them for years.
As STEM job markets expand, we will need more people in these fields than ever before. Starting STEM programs at a young age can help jump-start the success of these future employees. Early exposure can lead to increased interest in a topic. Therefore, by teaching children about coding, engineering, chemistry, and other STEM-related topics while they are in elementary and middle school, we can foster a sense of curiosity and interest in these fields. In doing so, we hope that young people will take an interest in STEM subjects and careers.
Offering a leg-up advantage to those who have been learning it as early as elementary school, STEM programs teach critical skills that help not only in their chosen careers as adults but also everyday life as well.
It is also vitally important to society that the future generations of the world can eventually take over in STEM fields. Just think, without people going into these fields, we wouldn’t have people working on treatments for diseases, creating artificial intelligence, solving clean water and hunger needs globally, engaging in business and economic endeavors, and developing military advancements.
STEM education in the United States is the best way to ensure that the country continues to be a world leader in STEM fields. Nationally, we need future generations to continue the success that the country has seen in these fields thus far.
What Makes STEM Different?
Traditional schooling is much different than STEM education. For example, traditional education methods rely heavily on books and not as much on the practical implementation of theories. STEM teaches students about complex topics with a hands-on focus by providing real-life applications for students.
Additionally, traditional teaching methods will have kids replicate the correct answer with experiments. STEM, however, lets children have the freedom of creativity, which might not always lead to the correct answer initially, but does allow for some out-of-the-box thinking. This type of system also focuses on doing instead of just learning. Again, traditional methods are heavily focused on book learning, while STEM teaches children as they complete tasks and experiments.
Instead of relying heavily on lectures, STEM education is more focused on students interacting with teachers to learn about a particular topic. Many students get bored during a traditional lecture, which can cause their minds to wander. This isn’t an effective way to get kids interested in learning.
Finally, STEM tends to be more concerned with experiments than tests. While tests are very common in traditional education settings, STEM education focuses more on real-life experiments that teach students about the applicability of a topic to the world around us.
As technology continues to develop, more and more pieces of the education system need to change. Traditional education systems aren’t utilizing technology in ways that help keep students interested in learning. With the Acellus approach, children are more involved in their education, and they can learn in ways that they can connect with the world around them. To learn more about our methods, contact us today at 866-684-6127.