There has been a growing demand for STEM jobs in recent years, because employers are seeking out professionals with proven skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics like never before to drive innovation. This is how things will be for the foreseeable future.The question is – who’s going to get those jobs?
Providing an education that prepares students for these jobs, and providing steps students can take to see if these occupations spark their interest should be a priority for any educational institution in the 21st century.
“We have to provide them (students) with the skills that our new realities demand,”
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When asked why Froebel was taking the decision to implement a STEM educational framework, Principal Luis A. Rodriguez stated, “Froebel’s function has always been to train our students to be able to insert themselves into society in a manner in which they can contribute in a positive way.” To for the school to accomplish this “We have to provide them with the skills that our new realities demand,” he said.
What is STEM education? It’s widely accepted that the acronym STEM stands for “science, technology, engineering and mathematics.” The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) defines it as, “an interdisciplinary approach to learning where rigorous academic concepts are coupled with real-world lessons as students apply science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in contexts that make connections between school, community, work, and the global enterprise enabling the development of STEM literacy and with it the ability to compete in the new economy.”
What separates STEM from the traditional science and math education is the blended learning environment and showing students how the scientific method can be applied to everyday life. It teaches students computational thinking and focuses on the real-world applications of problem solving.
A STEM education is also important for students in their everyday life in our contemporary world, with the rise of new technologies in biomedicine, microfabrication, space travel, robotics and artificial intelligence. The ability to understand and apply data, and develop solutions to complex problems, already are and will continue to be important life skills.
According to Rodriguez, Froebel’s program “will impact students in three different levels.” The program will obviously impact students in the classroom, in the school’s programmed events, and carry on into how they use their free time outside the school. “We plan to impact the entire school community, starting (to a lesser degree) in the lower grades, with our preschoolers and increasing as the grade level rises.”
Science, technology, engineering and mathematics workers play a key role in the growth and stability of the global economy, and are a critical component to helping in the creation of a better future. STEM education can produce critical thinkers, increases science literacy, and enables the new generation of innovators.