What Is STEM?
STEM stands for Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. A well-planned and comprehensive STEM-based curriculum will weave these four subjects into each other. The stronger this “weave” in the curriculum, the easier it is to see why each subject is important. It is a proven fact that students that understand why they are learning an idea, concept, or subject will be more motivated to learn it.
Why Teach A STEM-Based Curriculum?
Many traditional public, private, and charter schools teach a broad range of subjects including: science, social studies, history, English, language arts, mathematics, fine arts, economics, and physical education. While there is certainly no argument that a well-rounded individual has a great set of opportunities, it has been virtually the only formula for education for well over 100 years.
Have cars evolved in the past 100 years? Have houses evolved in the past 100 years? Have computers, televisions, medicine, transportation, clothing, food, and even toys all evolved in the past 100 years? If every aspect of human life in the United States has evolved in the past 100 years, why hasn’t the formula for education? The reality is simply that students need a new formula for education if they are expected to have any sort of competitive advantage in today’s world.
10 Surprising Facts About STEM That You Won’t Want to Miss
1. The Demand In STEM-Related Careers Will Be Greater Than the Number of Individuals Interested in Those Careers
Careers in STEM-related areas are in high demand. The world needs a solid set of scientists, technicians, engineers, and mathematicians. The world of medicine is quickly outgrowing the number of individuals that can sustain it. Computers, televisions, cars, and electronics are all growing tremendously in popularity, but the number of individuals interested in those careers are not. The current deficit could render the United States weak in these areas if more individuals do not step up and pursue these careers.
2. Students Will React to Their Teachers
Teachers must be given the opportunity to highlight their true talents and passions. It is a proven fact that students are directly impacted by the actions and emotions that their teachers show them daily. Happy teachers are motivational leaders. To make STEM-related careers look appealing, teacher must be given the freedom, tools, and advice that they need to demonstrate why each of those subjects is interesting.
3. More Than Half of the Engineering Degrees in the United States Are Awarded to International Students
Yes, less than half of the engineering degrees in the United States are awarded to domestic students. That means international students come to the United States to get a quality education, and then (often) leave to take that information abroad. This is a direct impact of the lack of focus and emphasis placed on the intriguing aspects of STEM-related careers.
4. Individuals in STEM-Related Careers Make More Money
Because of the massive deficit in STEM-focused students, these careers are offering more money as an incentive to entice students to study them. This makes sense. People are motivated by financial securities, STEM-related careers are growing, and employers will do what they must to fill the void that they need filled. Everyone in this situation is built up to succeed.
5. The Need for Technical Skill is Growing
The U.S. Bureau of Statistics states that 80 percent of careers will require technical skill within the next 20 years. This will mean that all students, regardless of the focus that they choose in career, will need STEM-based classes to make them employable. Implementing a STEM-based education doesn’t just help students to choose careers in STEM-related careers, it actually provides all students with a competitive advantage in today’s world.
6. Anyone Can Move into a STEM-Related Career
Not all STEM-related careers require a Doctoral Degree in one or more of the specified areas. Many careers will accept individuals with Master’s Degrees, Bachelor’s Degrees, Associate’s Degrees, and individuals that simply have a high school diploma. Many STEM-related careers offer on-site training to students that cannot immediately afford a degree to get them working and financially stable enough to create a life for themselves.
7. Students Can Pursue a STEM Education Outside of School
Students that are motivated to learn will be motivated to learn as much and as often as they can. Thankfully, motivated teens can start searching for opportunities outside of school. These opportunities include, but certainly are not limited to:
- Summer Camps
- Gap Year Programs
- Volunteer Programs
- Therapeutic Programs
8. There are Scholarships for STEM-Focused Individuals
Any student with a passion and a strong drive for success is going to succeed in whatever she puts her mind to. Students who are focused on STEM-related areas of study are afforded unique scholarship opportunities to help encourage their unique and needed intellectual contributions. The Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes is a monetary award given to students between the ages of 8 and 18 that have made a scientific impact on people, their communities, or the environment that they live in. Each year there are 25 outstanding young leaders that are recognized for their positive contributions. This is just one scholarship of many that are available.
9. Learning from a STEM-Focused Education is Super Fun
There is an unsaid stereotype in the United States that science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are boring, predictable, and uneventful in nature. This stereotype couldn’t be further from the truth. These topics can and are in fact fun. If you’re not convinced, just visit Funology to see what you’ve been missing.
10. Over 50 Percent of Teens Have Never Considered a Career in a STEM-Related Field
A surprisingly large number of teenagers have never even considered a career in a STEM-related field. While nobody can say for certain why this is, there is an ever-growing suspicion that this is due to a combination of: lack of awareness, lack of STEM education in schools, and the overwhelming presence of a negative stereotype. If this problem is not addressed early on in a school setting within the next few years, the United States could really suffer.
Take Away Advice
STEM-related careers are growing even if the United States is not ready to put forth an increase in the number of individuals ready to pursue those careers. Implementing a STEM-based education will help prepare more individuals for these careers should they choose to take them. It is up to society to motivate and encourage the nation’s young people to really explore the ever-growing demand in STEM-related careers. Most importantly, it is never too late to get started in a STEM-related career.