STEM education has become a hot term among educators, the media, and parents.
If you’ve heard the term buzzing around but aren’t sure exactly what STEM education is or how it can benefit your children, it may be time to learn a little bit about this important topic.
So let’s take a look at what STEM education is and why it’s important for your kids.
What Is STEM?
STEM is an acronym that stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. These fields are becoming more important than ever before, and our educators are focusing on them more than ever before.
If you pay any attention to the news or educational blogs, you know that STEM is all the rage lately. Teachers are working it into their classrooms, parents are purchasing STEM toys from Amazon, and advertisers are ensuring that everyone knows that their toys have a STEM component.
Your kids may be learning more about these topics in the classroom than you did, which, in turn, may leave them in a great position to acquire great jobs down the road.
What Does STEM Education Mean?
STEM-based curriculums focus on educating kids in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
But rather than teaching these four disciplines as four separate subjects, STEM education combines them into a unified model that has real-world applications. Typically, the education is hands-on, problem-solving based, and designed to teach students new skills that can help them in the future.
STEM education may involve skills like robotics, coding, and higher math. The subjects may be taught using traditional methods, or they may be taught using computers, toys, basic robots, or gaming. This education may take place as formal learning in the classroom in a dedicated space, or it may be included when kids are learning other subjects.
The best part about STEM education, however, is that it can also take place at home or on family trips. Your child can learn about these subjects at school, but you can also teach them through trips to museums, summer camps, or home projects in the evenings or on weekends.
Why STEM Education?
Today’s students need to learn to compete in a global economy. The world of business is constantly opening up and shifting, and technical and STEM skills are more valuable in the workforce than ever before.
STEM education teaches students essential problem-solving skills that they’ll need as they grow and develop, and helps them learn how to manage themselves and work out critical thinking issues in their daily life.
The days of rote memorization are fading, and they’re quickly being replaced by advanced critical thinking skills. STEM education is making subjects that were once ignored and seen as more challenging fun for students again so that they can get ahead as they grow into the workforce.
The Importance of STEM Education In Public Schools
Previously, STEM education tended to be neglected in some areas, especially impoverished areas that couldn’t afford higher quality computers, science equipment, and more.
As the price on these items goes down, schools in these regions are more able to afford the equipment necessary, but still struggle to purchase supplies for all children. This is one of the reasons why it’s essential that parents and taxpayers understand the importance of STEM education for children.
When that happens, every child has the same opportunity to learn science, technology, engineering, and math, and to work towards potential scholarships in those fields. This also provides them with the possibility for better job opportunities in the future. Well equipped classrooms, quite simply, help level the playing field for all students.
Benefits of STEM Education In The Home
Parents who want to work with their children outside of the classroom, or those who homeschool, have access to a wide range of toys and projects that will provide additional STEM education in the home.
Science kits, electronic circuitry kits, robot building kits, computer games, and math and engineering programs can all be purchased and used at home. Kids who live in these enriched environments can learn a great deal about the STEM fields just by playing or enjoying shared activities with their siblings or parents.
There are numerous benefits to providing this type of home environment, including advanced learning, teaching your child how to solve problems of increasing difficulty calmly, and teaching your child the benefits of open-ended situations.
These skills will benefit them in their future lives and potential careers.
What Are STEM Careers And Why Are They Important?
STEM Careers are careers in the science, technology, engineering, and math fields.
As we compete in a global economy, fewer of these jobs are being filled by permanent employees than ever before. Statistically, there are also fewer women in these fields than men, because traditionally girls break away from these fields as they enter high school and college.
These careers are important, and as technology continues to grow and develop, there will only be more job positions that need to be filled. Scientists, engineers, computer programmers, game developers, and mathematicians will always be necessary, and new jobs continue to be created almost daily.
Training students to fit into these fields means that there will be individuals to fill these jobs, create similar jobs, and help necessary technology continue to grow and flourish.
Why Are STEM Toys Important For Kids?
STEM toys are especially important because they help keep children, both male and female, interested in the STEM fields.
Sitting and solving math problems in a book may not be exciting for kids, but teaching a robot to move about by learning lines of computer code certainly is!
Connecting science, math, engineering, and technology in ways that kids can understand and see in a hands-on way helps them see from a young age why these subjects are not only important but also fun. Video games can include math and science. Toys can include engineering and computer robotics.
These unique STEM toys help kids see how much fun they can have with subjects that they may have previously thought of as boring.
STEM education is important throughout a student’s life, as it teaches them that these subjects have value of their own, for both boys and girls.
Including these subjects, which were previously thought of as boring or targeted primarily towards male students, allows everyone access to them. And this allows us to educate the future scientists, technologists, engineers, and mathematicians – both male and female – that we’ll need to solve the world’s problems.
Even better, we’ll begin to do so using something as simple as their toys, which can start happening at a very young age.
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