Future of STEM education

Future of STEM education

In our last discussion of STEM education, we tackled future generations as innovators, relying on the views of experts, with whom we agree, that preparing today’s children to become the innovators and inventors of tomorrow begins with STEM education programs.

What is the future of STEM education?

An American experience suggests that children in the United States going through STEM education hold the key to companies filling an estimated 9 million jobs in the industry by 2022.

With the increased prevalence of STEM careers, it is up to educators and administrators to ensure their students are college and career ready.

In the Philippines, STEM education, formerly Engineering and Science Education Program or ESEP, is a science and mathematics-oriented curriculum devised for high schools.

And experts agree that STEM education for future career growth has become more essential than ever.

Back in 2001, the National Science Foundation introduced the acronym “STEM,” standing for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.

In the decades that followed, educators and schools adopted and expanded efforts to embrace STEM-related education. Heading into the new decade, STEM has never been so vital for an education that will prepare students for their professional careers rather than simply building technical competencies within the classroom.

Today’s children are more familiar with technology than any prior generation, but just being familiar with technology is not enough.

Students in 2020 need a solid foundation in STEM to compete in careers where technical knowledge, problem-solving, and relationship-building are essential elements of the field.

Let’s face it. STEM is a part of our daily lives.

Some experts have posted that there is a connection between STEM and social-emotional learning.

They say a STEM curriculum with a computer science focus will not only build problem-solving and critical thinking competencies but will also include opportunities to reinforce social-emotional learning competencies.

STEM curriculum helps social-emotional learners develop and apply skills to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve goals, maintain positive relationships and increase problem-solving abilities in real-life situations.

When computer science and STEM curricula are taught only in front of a tablet or computer, it can be very isolating.

But, when the curriculum incorporates engaged learning with interactive activities, critical thinking discussions, and interactive problem solving, students gain the skills necessary for social-emotional growth.

The same wizards say a STEM curriculum with a computer science emphasis will be more integrated into the academic year.

There are, of course, at least three questions to address:

Who will teach computer science?

How will we teach computer science?

How will the computer science curriculum resonate with our students?

They suggest that the computer science curriculum in all grades should be customizable for the pacing, student outcomes, and instructional needs of each classroom. This helps educators easily teach a computer science curriculum while engaging students of all learning types.

Then three more questions, with administrators being challenged:

Who will teach STEM?

How will they teach STEM?

How will the STEM curriculum resonate with students?

The first step is getting started in the classroom. Educators can move the needle by making sure the curriculum empowers the educator, builds their confidence, is compliant with education standards, and results in measurable student outcomes.

Bringing computer science and technology curriculum out of the isolation of self-paced learning and into the teacher-led, engaged learning classroom, STEM curriculum will introduce students to foundational computer science skills as well as reinforce social-emotional learning competencies, along with math and language arts standards.

Encouraging students to participate in STEM learning could open the potential to pursue a career in the field. A great way to promote that is by tackling real-world problems in educational settings. (ai/mtvn)

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