The National Science Foundation states that 80% of Indian jobs in the next decade will require some form of math, science, technology, or engineering skills.
As globalisation and technological advances grow, studies predict that STEM degree holders will have a higher income, even in non-STEM careers.
It becomes our job as parents to make the next generation proficient in science, technology, engineering, and maths fields. As traditional job definitions change, STEM education is fast becoming an important 21st-century skill to develop.
Here are 5 reasons why we need to make sure kids get good exposure to STEM activities, even if it means going beyond the traditional school-paradigm.
1. Builds creativity
Research shows that children develop an interest in STEM fields at an average age of 8. So this is the age when they are fascinated by technology, gadgets, and gizmos. But, our education system has been exam-focused, making it difficult to cultivate this interest and develop creative thinking. STEM activities help children in developing understanding and creating new ways of thinking by indulging their curiosities and helping them develop their interests.
2. Encourages Independent Thinking
STEM activities teach children to develop a knowledge base through the process of active learning. Creative and innovative projects encourage problem-solving and build a culture of inquiry. Students are able to ask and answer their own questions independently. This way of independent thinking makes them better problem solvers.
3. Uses Real-Life Examples
In order to function effectively in society and in the workplace, our children need a system of learning that integrates teaching, technology, and real-life experiences. Education can transcend physical boundaries by connecting knowledge to real-world applications and problem situations. It shows students how the learning connects with their lives and the world around them.
4. Uses Hands-on Activities
Students are asked to work collectively to find solutions to real-world problems. These collaborations teach them to manage their time, communicate and work in teams or individually to complete a task. They learn to differentiate between relevant and irrelevant information and in the process discover tools that help them complete their tasks effectively.
5. Improves Logical Reasoning
A teacher becomes the ‘facilitator’ and not the ‘expert’ in the classroom. The focus for students shifts from taking in instructions to ‘knowing’ and being able to use and apply the knowledge in relevant ways. As they work on their projects they learn to assimilate, analyse and arrive at related solutions.
Until recently the focus of education had been on churning out workers for a workforce that understands the rules and follows them. Not much thought was given to building a capacity for innovation and creative thinking.
The growing globalisation and technological climate demand that we change our ideas about schools and our education system.
As traditional jobs undergo a massive change, preparing our next generation to become global citizens and providing them with skills to survive in a new economic climate becomes important. A well-designed introduction to STEM could help us meet future industry needs. At Tinkerama we are doing our bit to make STEM education more accessible to kids in India. Visit tinkerama.com/about to know more about us!