While the world of science and technology changes regularly, programs like STEM and STEM toys help students prepare for the real world after high school. STEM programs and funding for this field of education are growing, along with the job base that goes with it. Real-world issues have brought about the STEM movement, like not having enough people to fill future STEM-based jobs. Further, there are issues with gender equality in all of the fields that go along with STEM.
This is because, for the longest time, those subjects were promoted as being best for boys. For whatever reason, STEM education is more important now than ever. Moreover, you must know why your child should be involved in it. Let’s answer the question “Why is STEM education important for kids?” in more detail.
What is STEM?
STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. This was the original acronym for this set of taught skills. However, this has now expanded to the acronym STEAM to include the “A” for Arts. STEM education programs in the United States are growing exponentially. So much so that currently, there are not enough students proficient enough in these fields to fill the job market.
STEM education programs and subscription boxes for home focus heavily on creative thinking and problem-solving skills, deductive reasoning, and logic. Education, the realm of STEM, focuses much on trial and error. They teach children that it is ok to fail and try again. By doing this from a scientific or mathematical platform, kids can gain new understanding and knowledge from creating and having opportunities to be creative.
Why Teach Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)?
While there are so many different skills and subjects that students need to learn to thrive in their learning environment, STEM-based subjects need greater emphasis in the world. There are plenty of places for educators to have opinions about which subjects are most important. However, knowledge of the facts that circle the future economy should play a part in what subjects we choose (such as math and science education).
1 . Promoting Girls in the U.S. in the STEM Field & STEM Education
Did you know that girls were systematically steered away from participating in math and science activities (today’s STEM education) or be employed in those fields in the early days of education? Due to this past (and current) gender biases, research shows girls have fallen behind in STEM. In fact, according to an article by the American Psychological Association, “If you look at the students scoring in the top one in 10,000 in mathematics in 1983, there were 13 boys for every girl.” The article goes on to state that the number has shrunk from 13:1 to now a 2.8:1 ratio. However, the essential three boys to one girl are still not truly acceptable.
Further, the website for the American Association of University Women (AAUW) gives information stating that “Women only make up 28% of the workforce in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM fields)”. Essentially, the U.S., even as progressive as we are in the realms of innovation, fails to bridge the career gap between boys and girls in the STEM department. We need to promote STEM education in a learning environment and make it easily accessible to all students and small children both at school and at home.
2 . National Shortage in STEM Jobs
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, STEM-related jobs are expected to grow 8% in the next (now) eight years instead of only 3% in job growth in other fields. There are not enough people coming out of high school with skills in these areas to fill the job market. At some point, our economy will be almost entirely independent of non-STEM-related jobs. What we do today in the realm of STEM is vitally important not only to our economy but also for the survival of those that will be the workers in the future.
Here is another fun fact. Did you know that in an article by Dell Technologies, scientists recognize that it is “estimated that around 85% of the jobs that today’s learners will be doing in 2030 haven’t been invented yet”? Teachers are preparing children for jobs in less than a decade that have not even been invented yet! That is a completely sobering thought and all the more reason why things like STEM education should become more emphasized.
3 . Creates Useful Skills
As if there wasn’t enough information about the importance of STEM education already, here is more. According to testing data and research, only 34% of the students who took a standardized exam in 2017 scored proficient in math. Even if kids never plan on going into a STEM field in the future, there is still a great need for them to learn and understand mathematics effectively.
Plus, learning new math and science departments doesn’t necessarily mean that kids will pursue a career within it. Every activity allows kids to learn how to focus, develop, and create new things with their hands. These activities pique interest and make kids stronger thinkers in their learning process. Furthermore, learning many of these skills will help these future adults in their careers.
Our first and foremost point is to show why we must develop and provide STEM education in all schools. Technological advancements on a global level will not slow down. With that said, as a country, STEM education. At the same time, for the many worthy initiatives we put into place; we greatly need support in initiating new programs in schools on a national level. Education in the department of science and technology should work to pique children’s interests. Besides, it should help them to understand more about all of the cool things that innovation and creativity can bring.