what is stem education and why it’s important

what is stem education and why it’s important

What is STEM Education?

STEM education includes the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Educators deliver STEM education across all grade levels, from preschools to post-doctorate, in a wide range of settings that include traditional classrooms, distance learning, and informal non-credit programs.

Rather than teaching each of the STEM subjects separately, incorporating STEM into the curriculum allows educators to show students how these subjects are related, not only to each other but to nearly every subject and discipline. Using a STEM approach challenges educators to offer students experiences that are hands-on, collaborative, and open-ended, so they can apply the knowledge and techniques they learn throughout their lives.

What Are STEM Educators?

STEM educators teach science, technology, engineering, or mathematics. Most STEM educators specialize in one subject area, such as algebra or chemistry, especially at the secondary and post-secondary levels. However, primary school educators often teach general STEM lessons. Teaching students about science, math, or technology and motivating them to get excited about STEM subjects are the primary responsibilities of STEM educators, by doing just that they are preparing the next generation of researchers, engineers, scientists, and programmers to meet the growing demands for qualified STEM professionals-and preparing future professionals in all fields to leverage STEM approaches and techniques. STEM educators participate in professional development and continuing education to make sure they remain current in STEM subject areas, as the field is continually evolving.

Why is STEM Education important?

Without enough STEM educators, students can’t get access to the types of STEM opportunities that are likely to encourage long-term interest and passion in these fields and beyond. As more aspects of daily life are tied to technology-based systems, the need to improve and expand STEM education is considered key to helping Africa.

With more emphasis on STEM education, a meaningful STEM curriculum is often introduced to the youngest students, beginning at the preschool level. Research confirms that exposing students to STEM experiences at a young age encourages critical thinking skills, increases science literacy, and fosters creative problem-solving. These experiences can help establish a long-term passion for STEM subjects, as well as a general academic success across all disciplines.

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Lucy Ikpesu
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