Adult STEM education- it’s never too late

An emphasis has been put on childhood STEM education that many people in the earlier generations did not experience. With technology constantly advancing, it is a necessity in order to prepare children for their futures and possible STEM careers.

Alongside the change in educating kids on science, technology, engineering and math topics, the way that many adults learned to approach these topics has changed. This has left many adults feeling like they are not as knowledgeable in STEM topics as they may want to be.

An article on Forbes addresses this issue with the overarching message that it is never too late to advance your knowledge in STEM.

Enhancing knowledge on STEM skills can benefit adults in a variety of different ways. It will allow them to be able to better mentor children on the topics and be involved in a variety of youth STEM programs. It can also have major benefits on the individual’s health. According to Scientific America, keeping an active mind into adulthood can reduce cognitive decline that may happen as someone ages (e.g. Alzheimer’s disease).

Despite the possible benefits, many adults may find learning STEM topics later in life to be a daunting task. However, if done correctly, it can be just like learning it as an adolescent. The adult brain has a different way of learning because the brain has already finished developing. This different neurological process requires adults to make connections rather than create new brain pathways.

With the right approach, adults can learn new STEM material just as effectively and efficiently as children can. It is never too late and no one is ever too old to expand their knowledge on something that is so prevalent in today’s society- such as STEM.  

So if you’re an adult reading this, give STEM a sporting chance!

If this blog has convinced you to continue seeking STEM literacy, look no further. Lincs, a resource for adult education, has an OER STEM Project. Lincs’ goal with the project is to give adults the resources they need to strengthen their science, technology, engineering and math skills.

They use a self-pacing approach that allows individuals to benefit their education without debunking their daily routine. Their free open education resources (OERs) allows access to quality education to all and promotes lifelong learning habits.

Lincs offers lesson plans, video lectures, textbooks and activities on a variety of STEM topics that are applicable in real-world settings. They also offer avenues to communicate and ask questions to other adults who are currently doing the same coursework. This outlet can be used to clarify questions or to get the motivation to continue the lessons.

Although learning new things, especially later in life, is never easy, the long-term benefits of increasing STEM literacy are well worth the effort!