STEM education: The new kid on the block

Recent research tells us the United States of America is lagging behind in scientific, mathematical and technological fields. These fast-growing fields are in desperate need of professionals. Eighth-graders in the United States are being outperformed by students in Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong SAR, Estonia, Japan, Hungary and Netherlands.

In addition to this, only 29 percent of U.S high school graduates tested ready for higher education in science, and just 43 percent are considered prepared for college-level math courses.

This revolutionary system integrates science, technology, engineering and mathematics. By focusing on these disciplines, children are expected to learn how to become better problem-solvers, more innovative, think more logically, be more self-reliant and be better at using new technologies, and eventually – will pursue careers in math, science, engineering and technology.

Other benefits of STEM activities include:

  • It provides a better starting salary.
  • It is intellectually challenging
  • Encourages gender equality
  • It allows students to get an in-depth look at these disciplines
  • It helps students develop critical thinking skills.

STEM does challenge the current existing education system- providing a new option for parents and students. Though it is not without its limitations.

Limitations of STEM education

There is no set curriculum or standardized way of teaching in STEM. Any new curriculum can be a haphazard experience when it emerges for the first time. STEM is no different. Without any guidelines for teachers, there are no continuous standards set when teachers are changed. That’s why, tools like CoderZ appear to help teachers to achieve their goals in the classroom and to allow students to get the abilities they’ll need as professionals in the very near future.

Despite its limitations the U.S Department of Education currently aims to correct the cracks in STEM schooling. According to the U.S. News and World Report, a new office of STEM education has been tasked to develop a more competent and qualified U.S. task-force.

The office hopes that “by increasing participation, particularly from underrepresented communities in STEM based careers and granting funding- the bill hopes to equip schools across the country to enthral and educate the students of today so they can become the Sally Ride or Steve Jobs of tomorrow.”

STEM activities

The National Science Foundation has currently provided two grants to the STEM office. The first, totalling $1.35 million, will be used to create a new type of science lab in schools that more effectively bridges the gap between simulated and real-world environments.

The second grant, adding up to $13 million, will aim to have a thorough computing curriculum integrated into 10,000 high schools across the country over three years.

STEM is gaining support, however STEM schools are few and far between. In order to choose a quality STEM course for their children, parents need to consider several key things:

  • The standards of the course
  • Qualifications of the teacher
  • Time taken to focus on each subject
  • The assessment method used to measure progress

Time will tell if STEM will last as a new form of education, but we believe in it and we are putting all of our effort in order for that to actually happen.

CoderZ offers programs developed for teachers and schools who want to help children become interested in programming, between other things. The online learning environments develop the skills needed to understand and learnSTEM and to get the abilities the 21st century requires.