Many schools have been forced online during the pandemic. Yet, there’s still value in a hands-on curriculum.
Enfield, Connecticut / Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education is gaining popularity across the nation. Although these are necessary skills for the modern workforce, U.S. students are still falling behind their global counterparts. Damian Humphrey of Enfield Connecticut is hoping to help. In 2014, he launched Achievers Continuously Exploring (ACE) as a STEM-based afterschool program. Seeing the benefits first hand, the educational leader lays out six reasons to choose a STEM curriculum in 2021.
STEM thinks outside the box. This type of curriculum encourages students to explore and experiment. Recent advancements in technology and artificial intelligence grow from entrepreneurs pushing past old ideas and beliefs. Without taking these risks, innovation wouldn’t be possible. This attitude is nurtured inside a STEM-based classroom.
Sparks Curiosity and Critical Thinking
Through this exploration, students also develop the ability to problem-solve. STEM students are driven by curiosity. They ask questions and arrive that their own solutions. The focus is on logic, processes, and methods. Students break down an issue into small, step-by-step parts. As Damian Humphrey of Enfield Connecticut points out, these mental habits are needed in any workplace.
It requires teamwork to handle complex issues. Communication is a key component of STEM education. The entire curriculum is design to improve teamwork. Projects group learners who must identify problems, test idea, record information, write reports, and present conclusions. The final result is a student who works well within a team. Damian Humphrey of Enfield Connecticut takes this even further. He believes that STEM builds leaders who are open-minded and can implement feedback effectively.
Improves Technology Use
Technology is at the core of this curriculum. In fact, STEM students learn the fundamentals of coding as early as primary school. Breeding familiarity, technology isn’t intimidating. Students are prepared to embrace new products and devices without hesitation. These skills have never been more relevant. During the pandemic, technology was essential for connecting with coworkers, friends, and family. Equipped with how to use and develop technology, students are given the foundation for future success.
STEM also prepares students for the real world in other ways. Knowledge isn’t just about learning. It’s about application. Students learn concepts and can utilize them immediately. By seeing the purpose immediately, this motivates any child to continue to grow.
Prepares for The Future
It’s simple. STEM jobs are the future. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in STEM careers is projected to increase 8.8% by 2028. Even more telling, STEM employees earn more than other industries. The Pew Research Center reports the median earnings for full-time STEM workjners was about $30,000 higher in 2019. This is proof that STEM has value. Literally.
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SOURCE: Damian Humphrey