Why STEM Education Is Important to Today’s Learners…
According to Bill Gates, “We cannot maintain an innovative economy unless we have well trained people in science, math, and engineering.” Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics play an important role in education in both developed and developing countries.
These subjects are taught separately in schools and can sometimes create a major barrier between knowledge at school and real life if not properly taught and appreciated by the students. Furthermore, some students do not like these subjects because they cannot personally relate to them. Thus, it is very important for us to provide better STEM education to our students. With a better STEM education, we can provide competent graduates who can share their skills and knowledge in our community.
What is STEM education?
STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. STEM education equips students with the knowledge and skills related to these subjects. These skills help students learn the theory and practice creating the products associated with daily life.
What skills do students gain from a STEM education?
STEM education helps students develop:
- Scientific skills
- Math skills
- Technology skills
- Technical skills
STEM also enables students to acquire 21st century skills helping them become global competitive citizens.
How do we bring STEM to our classrooms?
1. Project based learning: PBL requires students to apply the knowledge of many subjects to get the finished product. For example, in compiling a Water Cycle project, students do not only learn about the composition and circulation of the water from their teachers, but they also use the content knowledge technology to search for the needed information. They make models to illustrate their ideas as well.
2. Encouraging students to take part in clubs such as Science, Robotics, Minicraft, and Kodu Games and giving them different experiments help them apply the knowledge learned to actual practice. Students love learning with STEM education games and clubs.
3. Inviting parents of the students who are scientists, mathematicians, and psychologists and involving them in organizing activities in school towards STEM education.
4. Organizing outdoor activities wherein the students can apply their lessons into practical situations.
The Vietnam Australia International School is promoting STEM education in many fun and engaging ways and is still looking for more. With this promotion, we can prepare students for real-world situations and help them be more competitive and productive in the future.
About the Author
Nam Ngo Thanh is a 5th grade teacher at the Vietnam Australia International School at Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. He loves working with his students and feels inspired by them every day. He is passionate about technology and enjoys helping teachers incorporate technology into their classrooms. Nam is both a Microsoft and ClassDojo Ambassador and can be found on twitter at @mrnamvas.