We take many things for granted in our life. For example, our cell phones, internet, FM Radio, microwave oven etc. But from where do all these things come? Yes, you are right. These things come from mathematics, science, technology and engineering. In a simple sentence, we can say that these things come from those people who are specialized in those streams.
Our future depends on our scientific spine. Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics or STEM are very important for our country. STEM Education is important for our children future. If you think where STEM applies in our life, you will realize that it applies in each and every aspect of our life. Science includes our natural world. For example sun, moon, stars, weather, animals, plants, food etc. Technology includes cell phones, computers, television, radio, telegraphs etc. Engineering includes designing roads, bridges and building. It also deals with challenges related to transport, global warming, systems and appliances. We come across Mathematics at grocery stores, banks, family budget, and tax forms.
School and college going students of America are the future of the country. They are very important for a dynamic economy. Here is the fact about them.
The National Academies is the non-profit organization that advises on science and technology. Many years ago a warning was given to U.S by The National Academies, that the U.S. will continue losing ground to foreign economic rivals unless and until it improves the education quality of maths and science.
Last year, experts reported that, U.S ranked 27th among 29 wealthy countries in proportion of university students with degrees in mathematics and science. Among developed countries, they ranked 31st.
The National Academies are taking initiative and urging government to improve mathematics and science curriculums. The National Academies wants to increase the number of qualified science and maths teacher by 10000. The students who have thorough knowledge of STEM think critically and innovatively. In future the highest paid jobs will be in STEM and all the employees will have to utilize their STEM skills to solve problems in a wide range of industries.
According to U.S. Department of Education, only 16% high school students have proven their proficiency in mathematics and are interested in STEM. Only 28% of high school freshmen showed their interest in STEM related field. Due to these reasons, Obama started “Educate to innovate’ campaign in 2009 so that the students get inspired and excel in STEM subjects. The campaign also showed the number of insufficient teachers skilled to educate in these subjects. The mission is to get the American students from the middle to the top of the international arena.
The Importance of STEM education:
STEMconnector.org projects that there will be around 8.65 millions of STEM related jobs by 2018. Projection of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is that, by 2018, the bulk of STEM careers will be 2% in Mathematics, 4% in life Science, 7% in Physical Science, 16% in Traditional Engineering, and 71% in Computing.
Only Americans don’t have this problem. Countries like U.K, Germany do face the same problem. According to Royal Academy of Engineering reports, the Brits should graduate more than 1lakh STEM majors till 2020 just to meet its demand. Germany has the scarcity of more than 2lakh workers in Mathematics, National Science and Computer Science disciplines. Ethnically, Asian students have shown much interest in the field of STEM.
STEM based learning combines learning methods and subjects rather than keeping them separate. Different types of disciplines are taught by integrating what students know to solve a new problem. STEM makes use of student’s strength and challenge them to learn more and think innovatively.