A country’s educational success has long been measured by its ability to prepare young boys and girls for their future careers. The world, however, is constantly changing, and within the last fifty years, the United States has undergone a great technological shift that has significantly impacted its economy and job market. In order for America’s next generation to succeed, school systems must adapt their curriculum to fit this new technological focus. For over twenty years, Jerry Jellig has worked within both Washington DC and New Jersey as an education and admissions expert and understands the importance of education evolving to meet large-scale societal changes. Below, Jerry Jellig will discuss the importance of STEM education in American school systems and how STEM can help prepare students for America’s growing STEM job market.
What is STEM?
STEM is an acronym that stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Today, STEM often refers to an educational policy or school’s curriculum. Today, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are present in everyday life and part of a growing job market. Since 1990, STEM occupations have grown by more than 79%, from 9.7 million jobs to over 17.3 million. According to the Programmer for International Student Assessment (PISA), however, today, the US places 30th out of 64 countries in math and 11th in science. By exposing children to STEM and STEM concepts at a young age, students can develop a greater understanding of STEM concepts and become more likely to pursue STEM occupations in the future.
What are the Benefits of STEM?
Improve Cognitive Skills – Through STEM courses, students are introduced to coding and engineering courses at a young age. Both of these courses require a large amount of problem-solving, which can help improve cognitive development. Cognitive skills are essential for child development as they enhance thinking, reading, and learning. Furthermore, children who are introduced to STEM courses early in their education have been shown to solve problems more quickly than their peers.
Increase team collaboration – Teamwork is one of the cornerstones of STEM syllabus’ and is an essential part of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics-based careers. Students will often be asked to solve problems within STEM courses as a group, developing their communication and leadership skills.
Encourages tech literacy — STEM teaches students about the many uses of technology and promotes a more thorough understanding of tech’s different facets. Additionally, students who have been introduced to technology early in life are more likely to use it in new innovative ways.