Let’s all face it, we live in a technology-driven world. Advances and discoveries are being made daily in the STEM (Science, technology, engineering, and math) world. As a culture, we are constantly looking for the next big innovation that is going to solve problems that haven’t even been created yet. We want medical breakthroughs, the latest tech gadgets, bigger (or sometimes smaller) and better everything. The STEM world is growing, and not just for us consumers.
A report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics states that jobs in STEM-related careers are projected to outgrow jobs in non-STEM careers. Where non-STEM job growth is projected to be 6.5%, STEM fields are projected to be 10.1%. I think it’s safe to say that this isn’t going to change much in 20 years when our preschoolers are entering the workforce. Not only will there be more job opportunities in this field, but STEM careers pay a good amount more than non-STEM careers. Read more here: (http://www.chmuraecon.com/blog/2016/february/29/stem-job-growth-expected-to-exceed-growth-in-non-stem-jobs-over-the-next-decade/)
Not only does STEM education prepare students for their future careers, but it can prepare them for life in general. Part of the STEM approach is collaboration, creativity, perseverance, and, not just thinking outside the box, but tearing that box down and building it bigger and better than it was before. Students are not just made to work together, they are taught HOW to work together effectively and considerately.
Recognizing a problem, a kink in a design or an inefficient way of doing things takes practice. Thinking about other people’s plights and developing the desire to make OTHER people’s lives a little easier or safer, also takes practice. We discuss the why’s and the how’s of these “problems” then the kids, with little to no guidance from the teachers, come up with solutions. We practice these skills daily. I think that often times we give too little credit to the minds of our youngsters. They have the ability to come up with some pretty impressive ideas. They even find inefficiencies in daily life where I would never think to look. STEM has given a name to what kids often do without realizing it. STEM education has helped make it a point to foster creativity that would normally be pushed out for a more “teach to the test” style. (Thank goodness, right?!?)
A STEAM curriculum doesn’t mean we have to do something expensive or time-consuming. It fits in perfectly with our daily schedule (more on this in a later post!) and the kids LOVE it! They feel worthy, empowered, smart, and accomplished. It is the coolest thing to watch a student who might struggle with reading or writing come up with a genius engineering structure. The pride shows and that feeling of “I can” transfers over to the rest of the day.
I didn’t think that I was a STEM or STEAM-minded person. I’ve learned that we all can be and our kids can too- no matter what age they are! Want to come in and see some STEAM in the process? Check out our website and schedule a tour!