Compared to other countries in the world, the U.S. education system is lacking quite a bit. This deficiency isn’t to be blamed on teachers or parents but because of a lack of STEM classes in elementary schools.
You’ve probably heard this buzz word but what does it mean? Here we break down everything you need to know about the importance of STEM education.
What is STEM?
STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. STEM curriculum combines those subjects to teach skills students need to succeed in the workplace and make valuable contributions to the world.
The key premise behind STEM is to combine these subjects to encourage hands-on learning and application of essential skills.
Benefits of STEM in Elementary Schools
As mentioned above, STEM prepares students for the real world and helps them learn the skills necessary to succeed.
Let’s delve deeper into the importance of STEM education and how it benefits students and the world around them.
Creates Future Innovators
The key to solving many of the world’s most dire problems is through new innovations and developments in technology and science.
A STEM-focused curriculum fosters ingenuity, creativity, and critical thinking. These are attributes needed to create future innovators and leaders that will help make a difference.
Provide Economic Stability
STEM careers are the secret to economic growth and stability. Why? Science, engineering, technology, and math-based careers contribute the most to the economy.
According to statistics from the U.S. Department of Commerce, yearly growth for STEM jobs is expected to double that of non-STEM jobs. To add, those with a STEM degree earn more than non-STEM workers.
STEM in elementary schools will help foster future adults who will stimulate the economy.
Bridge Gender Gap in STEM Fields
It’s no secret that STEM careers are male-dominated. In fact, women accounted for less than 28 percent of workers in the STEM field. To help close with the gender gap, it’s encouraged for schools to implement more STEM-focused programs and curriculum.
If girls are given the skills to succeed in male-dominated fields, they will grow up and become women who shatter glass ceilings.
Builds Character and Resilience
The importance of STEM education goes beyond building economic stability and bridging the gender gap — it builds strong character and resilience.
To explain, STEM programs allow students to work in teams to gather information, find solutions to problems, record data, and present results. This process not only teaches students teamwork and critical thinking skills but social skills as well.
Another added benefit to STEM-focused activities is that it builds resilience. When a solution doesn’t work, students are encouraged to try again. It’s crucial for children at an early age to learn how to embrace failure.
How Can Schools Implement STEM Programs?
One of the main ways to incorporate STEM into school is through afterschool programs and curriculum. For instance, a coding bootcamp is a perfect example of a STEM-focused afterschool activity.
Also, teachers can teach the fundamentals of STEM by posing real-life problems and encouraging them to work together to solve them. The key is to have them use higher-level thinking to come up with a solution that can be applied in real life.
Embracing the Importance of STEM Education
As you can see here, STEM isn’t an enrichment program for children gifted in math and science, it’s a way of teaching that fosters tomorrow’s leaders and innovators.
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