STEM develops a set of thinking, reasoning, teamwork, investigative, and creative skills that students can use in all areas of their lives. STEM isn’t a standalone class—it’s a way to intentionally incorporate different subjects across an existing curriculum.
STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. STEM is important because it pervades every part of our lives. Science is everywhere in the world around us. Technology is continuously expanding into every aspect of our lives. Engineering is the basic designs of roads and bridges, but also tackles the challenges of changing global weather and environmentally-friendly changes to our home. Mathematics is in every occupation, every activity we do in our lives.
By exposing students to STEM and giving them opportunities to explore STEM-related concepts, they will develop a passion for it and hopefully pursue a job in a STEM field.
A curriculum that is STEM-based has real-life situations to help the student learn. Programs like Engineering For Kids integrates multiple classes to provide opportunities to see how concepts relate to life in order to hopefully spark a passion for a future career in a STEM field.
STEM activities provide hands-on and minds-on lessons for the student. Making math and science both fun and interesting helps the student to do much more than just learn.
In the 21st century, scientific and technological innovations have become increasingly important as we face the benefits and challenges of both globalization and a knowledge-based economy. To succeed in this new information-based and highly technological society, students need to develop their capabilities in STEM to levels much beyond what was considered acceptable in the past.
- STEM lessons focus on real-world issues and problems. STEM learning addresses real social, economic, and environmental problems and encourages solutions to them. Real World STEM Problems has terrific ideas for classroom projects.
- STEM lessons are guided by the engineering design process. During the EDP, teams of students try their own research-based ideas, take different approaches, make mistakes, practice useful failure, and keep trying. This closely echoes how students use Solution Fluency, which mirrors many familiar learning process like the scientific method.
- STEM lessons immerse students in hands-on inquiry and open-ended exploration. STEM learning is open-ended; at the same time, the students’ work is collaborative and solutions are student-generated. There is also a sharing of ideas as they work to design their own investigations.
- STEM lessons involve students in productive teamwork. With STEM learning, students work together as a productive team which is a practice modelled by STEM teachers across the school.
- STEM lessons apply rigorous math and science content your students are learning. STEM lessons purposely integrate content from math and science subjects. In this way they also encourage collaboration with other teachers in these subjects, providing insights into how course objectives can be woven into a lesson.
- STEM lessons allow for multiple right answers and reframe failure as a necessary part of learning. STEM learning provides plenty of room for multiple right answers and approaches, and offers rich possibilities for creative solutions.