What is STEM Education?
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) is an approach to learning and development that integrates the areas of scientific inquiry, technology, engineering design, mathematical analysis — in an interdisciplinary and applied approach. Rather than teach the four disciplines as separate and discrete subjects, STEM integrates them into a cohesive learning paradigm based on real-world applications. STEM education also integrates other curriculum fields that includes curriculum content, teaching activities, and education policies.
Among all the four interdisciplinary areas, Science refers to the pursuit and exploration of the principles of nature, Engineering refers to the use of scientific discoveries to design tools needed by society, and Technology refers to the actual production of tools or finished products designed in engineering for convenience in people's lives, Mathematics is a combination of analysis and statistics in science.
Why promote STEM Education?
“Education at all levels in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—STEM—develops, preserves, and disseminates knowledge and skills that convey personal, economic, and social benefits. Higher education provides the advanced work skills needed in an increasingly knowledge-intensive, innovation-focused economy and society.”
- National Science Foundation
STEM education puts an emphasis on preparing future generations to be successful in their careers. The skills gained from STEM education extend beyond those needed to be successful in STEM fields, preparing children with varied interests who move into any industry to have valuable skill sets that allow them to be successful.
STEM-based education teaches children more than science and mathematics concepts. The focus on hands-on learning with real-world applications helps develop a variety of skill sets, including creativity and 21st-century skills.
21st-century skills include media and technology literacy, productivity, social skills, communication, flexibility and initiative. Other skills attained through STEM education include problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, curiosity, decision making, leadership, entrepreneurship, acceptance of failure and more. Regardless of the future career path considered by these children, these skill sets go a long way to preparing them to be innovative.
How STEM Learning could reinforce your soft skills
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