What is STEM?
Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) is a term that refers to the academic disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. This term is used to address the education policy and curriculum choices in the schools that hopes to improve the competitiveness in science and technology.
In other words, STEM education is an integrated, interdisciplinary approach to learning that provides hands-on and relevant learning experiences for students. STEM teaching and learning goes beyond the mere transfer of knowledge. It engages students and equips them with critical thinking, problem solving, creative and collaborative skills, and ultimately establishes connections between the school, work place, community and the global economy. STEM also helps students understand and apply math and science content, the foundations for success in college and careers
Why do we need STEM?
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.
Who benefits from STEM?
STEM education is vital to our future, the future of our country, the future of our region, and the future of our children.
STEM education is critical to help Nepal step up in the development activities. If STEM education is not improved, Nepal will continue to fall in world ranking with math and science scores and will not be able to maintain its global position. STEM education in school is important to spark an interest in pursuing a STEM career in students. However, teachers do not carry the whole burden of STEM education. Parents also must encourage their children to pursue STEM activities and increase awareness and interest at home and in extracurricular activities of the merits of STEM education.
After School STEM Programs:
Programs outside of school can help children to see that STEM is more than a class to finish.
Having activities that show real-life implication of STEM can pull together the ideas presented in school and help to show how they benefit our society and even our world as a whole.
Children can see that what they are learning now is pertinent to their future and the future of the whole world, creating an interest often lacking when learning new concepts that do not seem to carry real-world application.
Engineering for Kids, for example, offers a suite of STEM enrichment programs for children ages 4 to 14.