STEM is an abbreviation for science, technology, engineering, and math. This clumping of subjects is used to explain education subjects, degrees, and jobs in the workplace. As the world continues to change and technology advances, the importance of providing students with quality STEM education increases.
According to a study by the U.S. Department of Commerce, STEM occupations are growing 20 percent faster than any other field. People with STEM degrees and in the STEM workforce have higher yearly earnings than those with non-STEM degrees. These statistics show that, in the future, we will need more qualified individuals to fill STEM jobs, even ones that have not been created yet.
How do we ensure we have innovative, critical thinkers to fill these jobs? The first step to creating a strong future in STEM is education. Familiarizing students with science, technology, engineering, and math at a young age, and continuing to give them the tools they need to succeed, is essential for the future of STEM, our country, and the world.
Why STEM Education Matters for Kids, Educators, and Parents
STEM education teaches students both hard and soft skills that will benefit them in the classroom and in their personal lives. When students are given the opportunity to engage in quality STEM education, there are tangible benefits that will be seen by the student, educators, and parents. Here are five advantages for students who engage with STEM education regularly:
1. STEM teaches critical thinking and problem-solving skills
STEM education teaches students critical thinking skills as they work through projects and have to think about how they approach each question. By requiring students to pivot and change approaches, they are learning key problem-solving and critical thinking skills that will translate to various areas of their life.
2. STEM activities create a collaborative environment
The ability to work collaboratively with others is an important part of success in the classroom and in the workplace. STEM learning allows students to work together toward a common goal. Starting as early as preschool, this exposure and practice are great for students. Parents and educators will see the benefits of this in students as they continue to improve.
3. Students learn key project management and leadership skills
STEM subjects are complex and many projects and lessons are done over long periods of time. This introduces students to time management, task management, and ordering tasks based on priority. These are skills that will help them as they progress through their education, especially at the college level. This is also something that people look for during the hiring process. By helping students gain these skills at a young age, we are setting them up for success throughout their professional careers.
4. STEM fuels creative, innovative thinking
STEM, especially technology and engineering, allows students to tap into their creative side and think outside the box. Innovative thinking is key to the progression of our society and the world. Giving students this mindset in early education gives them the time to strengthen and improve this skill as they work through their education.
5. STEM encourages knowledge application
It is easy to learn something in theory. It is more difficult to take what you learned and apply it in real-time. STEM education pushes students to understand what they are learning on a deeper level through applying what they are learning to complex questions. This has been proven to increase content retention and standardized test scores.
Above are just five of the many ways that STEM education improves student performance in the classroom. As parents and educators, it is our job to expose students to STEM at an early age so they have the confidence and familiarity as they move forward in their education. This puts them in a position to improve on the skills listed above and will allow them to apply them in STEM, other subjects, their future careers, and personal lives.
How STEM Education Helps the World
It is often said that the children of today are the leaders of tomorrow. This statement translates well to the future of STEM. Children are going to be the future of the world. By giving them the tools they need to excel in STEM, we as educators and parents are helping the success of society moving forward. STEM is key to the continuing progression of medicine, technology, and many other key areas of our daily lives. Students now need to be given the tools necessary for them to enter the workforce as qualified, passionate, and innovative contributors.
Another key aspect that needs to be focused on for the betterment of our world is increasing diversity in the STEM workforce. By providing students with quality STEM education and access to mentors, we can help to increase the number of people of color and women in the STEM workforce. Diversity is a key factor in maximizing innovative thinking. By giving students the tools they need to succeed now, they will feel empowered to pursue these careers in the future.
Teaching STEM With STEM Sports®
STEM Sports® is an education company that provides turnkey STEM curriculum for K-8 students. What makes STEM Sports® unique is that each lesson is facilitated using sports. This creates an engaging learning environment where students learn through play and have real-world examples of what they are learning.
STEM Sports® focuses on giving educators and facilitators access to easy-to-implement curricula that will engage a wide range of students, regardless of interest and skill level. Whether your student is a book worm or sports fanatic, they will have fun working through each lesson with their classmates. Here are some examples of what students learn with STEM Sports®:
– STEM Football: Students will calculate their number of passes they could complete in a season by using probability calculations. Students will graph and interpret probability data by using technology and answering questions.
– STEM Soccer: Students will predict which type of kick transfers the most energy when they collide using data. Students will predict the distance traveled by using data.
– STEM Volleyball: Students will use greater than and less than symbols to represent the speed of different volleyball hits. Students will describe how ball energy and speed are related by using data collected by a radar gun.
To learn more about STEM Sports® curricula, click here.