Before heading towards the significance of STEM in a kid’s education system, let’s check out what STEM means. Well, STEM is the acronym of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. It is so much related to our daily lives. Today’s generation is all about Science and Technology, which are still getting evolved and will continue to do so with time. On the other hand, Engineering is the foundation of all that we see today around us. Be it a skyscraper to a road or bridge, everything is engineered with an aim to make lives simpler as well as tackle the catastrophic effects of nature.
Lastly, Mathematics is more or less related to every possible occupation that exists in our lives. Overall, the scope of STEM is huge in the lives of all ages. But, in this article, we will be talking about the impacts on the kids if they are exposed to STEM and why parents should grow their children’s interest in STEM-related concepts. They will develop a passion for it and hopefully pursue a job in a STEM field.
Why is STEM Education So Significant?
As per the US Department of Commerce, STEM-based professions are shooting at 17%, while other non-STEM trades are growing at only 9.8%. Candidates who are STEM qualified have a better income in the non-STEM career options as well. The four utilitarian branches of STEM play a significant role responsible for the sustainable growth and stability of the US economy. Plus, it is an evaluative factor helping the US to win in the long run. STEM education compels the readers to create the practice of thinking, increase the number of science aspirants, and enable the new generation to come up with innovations.
Innovation results in new technologies, processes, and products that further add to the nation’s economy. The relation between science and innovation requires a strong foundation of knowledge in the STEM domain. There is no doubt that almost any and every occupation requires a basic idea of science and maths. However, unfortunately, the rate of science/maths literacy is not what it should have been. There are many developed countries like the US and others that are yet to catch up with the average science and maths score compared to the developing countries. That’s why STEM education is significant.
How to Spark Interest of Your Kids for STEM?
Here is how you can get started with an intentional discussion of some specific concepts and terms regarding STEM with your kids, though some regular fun activities and interactions that will intrigue him/her to explore more about STEM education:
Pick out the practical applications of STEM in daily life
Ask your kid to help you out in the kitchen with small chores while you are cooking. It is even better if you can manage to ask him/her to help you with cooking. Include the preliminary level of mathematics by asking your child to measure the number of ingredients to be added. Allow his/her thinking power to flourish by asking the kid to figure out how much ingredient has to be, then check what is the output after stirring all the ingredients together. Let your kid figure out the difference between a solid and a liquid matter. Well, that will be the very step to get a STEM education going a long way.
Challenge your kids to solve problems every day
To instill thinking power in your child to solve quantitative challenges, STEM plays a crucial role. STEM education helps you from the grassroots level of solving a mathematical problem. Do compete with your child asking him/her to take up a challenge and try beating you. Through this, you will be able to understand the progress/regress in your child’s thinking level. In case the child finds it difficult, help him/her by segmenting the problem into simpler steps. Take them into playgrounds or parks and when your kid is having a great time swinging, ask how it is made. Ask how the swing can be made more secure from getting fallen. After getting back home, ask your kid to draw the surroundings that he/she was in all that time. This will encourage the child’s ability to imagine.
If your child loves creating things out of his/her imagination, let them intensify this quality in them through advanced LEGO and K’NEXtoys. Or, what about giving your kid a random piece of objects like an old piece of the motor, or something like that. Let him/her play around with it and explore the parts that make up the thing. If your kid is a little older and knows internet surfing, then give him/her topics to research and learn about. After your child is done, ask the reason behind it. In simple words, be interactive with your kids regarding any topic that helps grow his/her knowledge for that.
Encourage your kid to get engaged in exploring the world outside the door– how nature looks so, why the color of the sky is blue but trees are green, why water is colorless, where the sun goes after sunset, how things work, etc. Let them a question and think about the possibilities, what can be done to make the existing system work or what needs to be changed. Well, this is what STEM education is all about! We often take things for granted and remain unaware, which if thought upon can spark STEM interest in your kids and also you.
STEM education prepares your kids to compete in a global economy by attaining a successful career that brings in a substantial amount of profit(money). However, STEM education in school is hardly taken care of by the teachers these days, as they don’t like to take the extra burden that STEM requires. So, it is the parents’ duty to spark interest in their kids and make sure that they (kids) enjoy pursuing STEM education and its extracurricular activities, even at home.