Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education is becoming increasingly more relevant today, what with the continued innovations being developed in the aforementioned sectors. Unfortunately, the growth in these industries is severely limited by the lack of people working in these particular professional fields.
CNN reports that only 16% of high school seniors end up pursuing careers in STEM, despite the fact that industry-related jobs are growing at a rate 1.7% faster compared to non-STEM-related professions. Furthermore, many of those who have related degrees end up pursuing careers outside of what they were trained in.
One reason for the low percentage is that students are simply not interested in STEM. The good news is that there are ways for teachers, parents, and guardians to make children more attracted to subjects related to STEM from an early age.
This article takes a look at some of the strategies.
Incorporate play with STEM learning
Natural Start suggests that the best strategy for early childhood education is to shift from the standard classroom method of instruction to one that is more interactive. Children are naturally curious. By exposing them to an environment or a setting where they can learn by exploring, they are more likely to be drawn to learn more about the concepts. For instance, you can take your children to a park and then show them objects of curiosity to encourage them to learn more about what they are seeing. Better yet, you can ask them what they notice in their surrounding environment so they can practice their powers of observation, which is an essential part of STEM.
Utilize modern technology for ease of learning
According to TeachThought, artificial intelligence is a game changer even in the education sector. Aside from automating tasks such as grading, it is now employed to help teachers identify certain gaps in learning. Therefore, they are able to customize lesson plans that would help their pupils learn the lessons at hand, instead of employing a “one size fits all” program that may be detrimental for learning for certain students.
Another advantage of artificial intelligence is that it “learns” the behavior of users in such a way that the system will generate personalized lessons fitting the skills and abilities of users. The latter is the strategy employed by Smartick to help kids learn mathematical concepts. Unlike other mathematical tools that only take on a gaming approach to making maths more palatable for students, it uses artificial intelligence to determine their skill level so they can work on mathematical concepts that is on par with their abilities, at a pace best suited for them. Through this approach, they gradually gain self-confidence in solving mathematical problems, which will help them as they advance further while learning.
Combine arts with sciences
Art, literature, music, maths, and sciences aren’t mutually exclusive domains. If your child loves to draw, paint, play music, or try out other creative ventures, you can actually tap into their interests to engage them in STEM. Tootsa provides some suggestions on how to do this with one example being an art book that features various patterns with a mathematical basis.
Incorporate STEM concepts in everyday life
One reason why kids are so resistant to learning about STEM is because they don’t believe that it’s relevant to their daily lives. To counter this mindset, Lifehacker suggests making your children aware that its applications can be seen in just about every aspect of life. One example it gave is food science, where you can teach your kids science concepts through cooking.
Exclusively written for Smartick