20 Apr 2018

STEM EDUCATION: IT’S MEANING AND IMPORTANCE

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. These four symbols represent the different areas of STEM education.  integrates concepts that are usually taught as separate subjects in different classes and emphasizes the application of knowledge to real-life situations. A lesson or unit in a STEM class is typically based around finding a solution to a real-world problem and tends to emphasise project-based learning.

Rather than teach the four disciplines as separate and discrete subjects, STEM integrates them into a cohesive learning paradigm based on real-world applications.

Though the United States has historically been a leader in these fields, In Nigeria, the US government, in collaboration with US-based robotics education, RoboRave International education academy, has begun a robotics training workshop for 460 elementary, secondary, and university students, as well as  Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) teachers, robotics enthusiasts, and scientists in Nigeria. The workshop seeks to boost technology education in Nigeria by engaging the participating students in hands-on robotics activities to stimulate their interest in math and science as well as careers in the STEM fields, says the US Consul General F. John Bray.

The importance of STEM education

“Science is more than a school subject, or the periodic table, or the properties of waves. It is an approach to the world, a critical way to understand and explore and engage with the world, and then have the capacity to change that world…”— President Barack Obama, March 23, 2015.

STEM jobs do not all require higher education or even a college degree. Less than half of entry-level STEM jobs require a bachelor’s degree or higher. However, a four-year degree is incredibly helpful with salary — the average advertised starting salary for entry-level STEM jobs with a bachelor’s requirement was 26 percent higher than jobs in the non-STEM fields, according to the STEM connect report.

In a world that’s becoming increasingly complex, where success is driven not only by what you know, but by what you can do with what you know, it’s more important than ever for our youth to be equipped with the knowledge and skills to solve tough problems, gather and evaluate evidence, and make sense of information. These are the types of skills that students learn by studying science, technology, engineering, and math—subjects collectively known as STEM.

 There are lots of students out there who get enjoyment and a sense of accomplishment from it. Focusing on STEM for these students helps them feel more involved with their education, and get more from it. But this only happens when the student had been taught during his younger years

When it comes to STEM learning, no matter what field you’re exploring, learning about it is all about discovering new things, building things, collecting data or information and experiment with different things to see what the outcome is.

Giving students challenges sets them up for life, as they’ll learn how to think their way around a problem and try out solutions. These skills will work out well for them once they’re in the workforce and will have to do this for themselves.

STEM learning can be tailored to suit a child’s abilities and educational level. Of course, as mentioned above, the ideal STEM question will push students to the limit of their abilities, testing out their problem-solving skills, their critical thinking and their engagement in the subject.

As technology evolves and moves forward, it’s crucial to keep STEM learning in a positive frame of mind and connotation. Aspects of our society, such as computers, technology, critical systems, social media platforms and so and all based on STEM learning and without it, the world wouldn’t be where it is today.

Article by: Busayo Tomoh

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