Understanding the Basics of STEM Educationhttp://drpfconsults.com/understanding- the- basics- of- stem- education/ April 9, 2013Dr. Patricia FiorielloWhat is STEM Education?With all the acronyms that determine hundreds of different areas of education, it is easy toconfuse them all. Since 2001, the letters STEM have been a normal part of educational vocabulary.The acronym STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. This programwas started by Judith A. Ramaley, the former director of the National Science Foundation’seducation and human-resources division. This approach to education is designed to revolutionizethe teaching of subject areas such as mathematics and science by incorporating technology andengineering into regular curriculum by creating a “meta-discipline.”There is more; STEM Education attempts to transform the typical teacher-centered classroom byencouraging a curriculum that is driven by problem-solving, discovery, exploratory learning, andrequire students to actively engage a situation in order to find its solution.Integration of CurriculumThe four parts of STEM have been taught separately and most of the time independent fromeach other for years. By adopting the STEM philosophy Science, Technology, Engineering, andMathematics all play an integral part in the teaching of the whole. The science, engineering, andmathematics fields are made complete by the technology component that provides a creative andinnovative way to problem solve and apply what has been learned.Many STEM education program participants are using highly specialized professional applications
at very early ages. Programs that are usually reserved for college-level classes such as computeranimation and CAD programs are being implemented in high school classrooms across the countryas part of the STEM education initiative.Benef its of ProgramSince its implementation, critics have questioned the program’s ability to teach all students equally.This argument is a difficult one to hold, since it has been proven that the education system ingeneral has been tailored to the needs of female students over the past twenty-five years in itsfocus on verbal concepts.All students benefit from the STEM program because it teaches independent innovation andallows students to explore greater depths of all of the subjects by utilizing the skills learned; theseskills are going to be required in order for today’s students to be tomorrow’s global leaders. All jobsare requiring workers to have a greater ability to think critically, work as a member of a team andindependently, and close the performance gap between our American students and those beingproduced in other countries.Our Role and ResponsibilityIn recent years, there has been a significant decline in the number of college students choosingmajors in science or technology related fields. Much of this has to do with poor preparation for theclasses during high school and the intense work required outside of the lecture setting in placeslike laboratories. Students have chosen easier majors and courses of study in place of taking onthe fields that they wanted to enter due to poor preparedness. If the graduation rates continuewith this trend, there will be a workforce shortage in areas of engineering and science fields.The United States needs to be more competitive and build new standards for our students. TheNational Science Foundation “estimates that 80% of the jobs created in the next decade willrequire some form of math and science skills.” In order for our children to see the advancements intheir generations that we saw in ours, it is important that they have a well-balanced education thatincludes STEM elements, as well as, traditional classes in the Arts. STEM education is designed toteach the “whole” student and in turn will make them more successful members of society.STEM School Education ResourcesSTEM Education Statistics to Share with Skeptics3 Ways to Explore STEM Education ResearchWhere to find STEM Grants for SchoolsSTEM to STEAM — Recognizing the Value of Creative Skills in the Competitiveness DebateSTEM Career Role Models – Graham Gannon: EntrepreneurSTEM Education2 Excellent Free Online Education Resources for STEM EducatorsWebsites and VideosConnect a Million MindsScience is Rock and RollMy Robot is Better Than Your Robot
Dr. Patricia Fioriello is the founder of DRPFConsults.com - place to discover the latesthot topics in education and best ways to address current education issues. DRPFConsults designs school eBooks covering the most critical topics about educationproblems in todays schools.