Acronyms are used to design many different areas of education and keeping track can be difficult if you do not work in this field. The acronym STEM was first created in 2001 and became quite common in educational vocabulary.
STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Judith A. Ramaley, former director of the education and human resources division of the National Science Foundations, can be credited with this program. The goal of the program is to change the way these scientific subjects are taught. The program emphasizes the importance of technology and engineering by incorporating these disciplines into the teaching of maths and other sciences. The ultimate goal is to create a “meta-discipline.”
The STEM program was also designed to transform the classic teacher-centered approach. The curriculum is based on problem-solving, experiments, discovery, exploratory learning and encourages students to find answers by themselves.
Traditionally, the four branches of STEM have been taught as separate disciplines with very little connections between each other. The STEM program allows instructors to teach these four subjects together. Science, engineering and maths are all connected thanks to technology, which adds an original an innovative component to the teaching of sciences.
Most STEM education initiatives focus on highly specialized professional applications for what is being taught, even if the students are still young. Areas that were usually taught in colleges such as CAD programs or computer animation are now being taught at the high school level thanks to the STEM program.
Some critics have questioned the ability of the STEM program to educate students equally. It has actually been proven that the educational system as a whole has been focusing on verbal concepts for the last twenty five years, which allowed instructors to deliver an education tailored to the needs of female students.
STEM is about independent innovation and gives students the possibility to explore sciences thanks to the skills acquired. Students benefit from STEM because the skills they learn will be useful later in life. Jobs require employees to apply critical thinking, to work as a team and to be able to work independently as well and there is also a strong need to reduce the gap between American students and professionals from other countries.
There is currently a decline in the number of American students who choose to major in science or in technology. This phenomenon is blamed on the fact that students are not prepared for these college classes in high school. The intense work required outside of the classroom can also intimidate students who have never used a laboratory before. Students tend to select majors considered as easier rather than opting for a scientific career because they are unprepared for these college classes. There will soon be a shortage in the scientific and engineering fields if this trend continues.
There is a real need to adopt a more competitive approach to education and to set some new standards for American students. According to the National Science Foundation, 80% of the new jobs that will be created over the next ten years will require employees to be proficient in math, technology or other scientific fields. Quality education is necessary to help the next generation improve the quality of their lives and advance as a society. A well-balanced education would be beneficial, including the STEM programs and classes in the Arts fields. The goal of STEM education is to adopt a more global approach to science and to help students become productive members of society.
Article by Dr. Patricia Fioriello at ExpertBeacon.com – Help your child succeed in a STEM education program at school.