STEM is the acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. STEM education (or STEAM education, as it has also been called in recent years after incorporating Arts and its creative component) brings together all these disciplines and tries to work on them in an integral way so that children and teenagers acquire a wide set of transversal skills which allow them to face any challenge or situation they encounter in different areas.
More and more countries are establishing STEM as one of the key skills that must be worked on within the primary and secondary education curricula. The aim of incorporating STEM in the school from the initial stages is mainly to provide the youngers with tools and practical knowledge that are aligned with today’s society and the reality they will have to face in the future on both a professional and a personal level.
STEM skills are particularly geared towards solving problems creatively and collaboratively. When we work on them in an integral way, each of these four branches brings a different perspective when it comes to creating new solutions which can respond to people’s problems and needs and at the same time take into account important aspects such as sustainability. Thus, through science we can learn to understand the physical world and relate to it responsibly; digital skills train us to use machines, programs and other technological advances so that we are able to make the most of technology to solve problems and improve people’s lives, and mathematics is also essential for our day-to-day lives, from simple operations to interpreting data and make predictions that help us develop solutions.
The professionals of the future will have to take many variables into account in order to have a positive impact on society and STEM education plays a relevant role in this regard, both when it comes to imparting knowledge to young people that helps them become aware and understand the world around them, as well as helping them develop essential skills such as innovation and creativity, reasoning and analytical skills, critical thinking, problem solving, teamwork and communication, among others. All these skills can be applied to all areas of life, but it should be noted that they are increasingly valued in the professional field.
Career opportunities are also one of the big reasons why STEM are gaining more and more importance. Many of the jobs that our children will have do not yet exist yet and will be created over the next few years, just as if we look back now there are many careers which didn’t exist when we were younger. Technology evolves at a fast pace and is increasingly present in our daily lives and within all professional fields, not only the areas closely related to technology and science. That is why school must be a place where everyone has the opportunity to access this knowledge, not only because they bring different perspectives that help children to understand the world, but also because they will be essential skills for them as adults.
Programming and robotics are part of STEM and having basic knowledge of programming will soon be as important as other skills that are taught to us in school, such as reading and writing or mathematics. If you work in a school and need help to include programming and computational thinking in your classroom, please don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more about our method.