These days, with so many online education providers competing for attention, explaining a concept has moved out of the classroom to the smartphone and tablet. However, it is still a one-way process, where the child has little participation in solving that problem or figuring out the fundamentals of that problem.
STEM, an acronym for Science Technology Engineering, and Math is an interjection in this learning pattern and it is needed to build the talent pipeline. Like conventional education, in STEM the child not only learns concepts of science and math but also goes a step ahead and utilizes that knowledge in the real world scenario.
For most of us who have studied mathematical theorems, our challenge was not being able to use it other than qualifying for the exam. The drawback of the traditional educational system forbade the development of our problem-solving skills and logical reasoning. STEM answers these challenges by stepping aside the curriculum from the classroom. Now, the student puts the learning into use in the real-world, which can be something as simple as building truss bridges with popsicle sticks fashioned into triangles.
All of us have studied in the mathematics class that the sum of the two sides of a triangle is larger than the measure of the third one. Building a truss bridge with popsicle sticks, a load-bearing superstructure gives students an opportunity to apply this knowledge.
Why STEM education is important?
The challenge of the Indian education system is that it hovers around the classroom. There is a strong focus on getting the answers right and scoring marks in the exams. In the bargain, the child misses out on translating the learning outside the classroom.
In STEM education the emphasis lies in applying the knowledge. Just learning the concept is not enough. Because education has to integrate itself with the application so that students learn to innovate.
- STEM education is important because more jobs are getting posted with STEM requirements. According to data from a job posting website in the last three years jobs related to STEM in India have increased by 44%. Obviously, we need to gear our education towards STEM to fill those job postings.
- STEM education is helpful in building a generation of young inventors. Tackling a problem with an invention is the preferred route of logical young minds.
- Educating students in STEM subjects (if taught correctly) prepares them for life, regardless of the profession they choose to follow because it stokes their problem-solving capabilities. STEM teaches students the fine art to think critically and to solve problems, which can be used throughout life to help them sail through tough times.
- STEM is about building resilience in the students. Creating a project from scratch while applying theoretical learning doesn’t happen in one go. There will be times the child would be inclined enough to give it up but would persist because s/he wants to experience the sheer joy of creating something. This resilience is a must-have trait for everyone in life and it comes with STEM learning.
The benefit of STEM goes far beyond the curriculum and the classroom. It teaches the child to take advantage of opportunities whenever they appear. At YouDo we have a comprehensive range of do-it-yourself kits, and educational manipulatives for students that aim at breaking down a concept for easier, quicker understanding and longer retention.