STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics and it is a broad term that is used to group together these academic disciplines. In this article, we will explore what is STEM education, its importance and relevance in today’s world as well as how IGCSE facilitates STEM learning.
What is STEM education?
STEM education at its core is a teaching method or philosophy that integrates, Science. Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics into a single program. It offers learners real-world applications. Essentially, STEM education integrates the four disciplines and provides students with the use of real-world teaching methods.
STEM learning importance and relevance
Why is STEM learning important in today’s world? It is largely due to the emergence of technology and artificial intelligence (AI). With STEM learning, students are able to relate themselves to the current world’s advancement and provide enhanced solutions and innovations.
These enhancements and innovations are important for future generations and civilizations to thrive. It requires the generation now to pave way for them.
Additionally, as the world continues to advance, many jobs would become obsolete but more career opportunities would appear in the technology industry.
Hence, STEM learning is important and schools have started to incorporate such learning into their curriculums are vital for the student’s growth as well as the world’s.
Why is STEM learning beneficial?
STEM learning uses real-world experiences, problems, and applications to educate students about the world.
What does this mean for our future generations?
With the real-world problems thrown at our younger generation, there is no textbook and standard answers they can refer to anymore.
The traditional learning style of memorization and recitation of the same information will become almost obsolete and well, unhelpful.
Creative minds and dynamic learning
Because there will no longer be standard solutions to a problem, students will be required to put on their thinking caps and figure out what is the right answer and solution.
This will mean students have to put in significant effort, creativity, analytical and flexible thinking which pretty much stems from STEM.
STEM teachers would not expect their students to already possess the traits of STEM learning as the purpose of incorporating them into the learning curriculum is to guide the students to become STEM learners.
Ultimately, assessments are carried out to assess students’ ability to innovate and problem solve. Pure memorization of theory and information will no longer work for students.
Array of careers
With the fast-growing advancement in technology, many jobs in the future will be replaced with Artificial Intelligence. This means that new jobs will be created for the development of these smart robots. The technology industry will require students to possess the STEM learning experience and disciplines.
Thus, as the technology industry thrives, jobs opportunities will also steadily increase. It will require smarter and brighter minds to create new technologies for a new future civilization.
How IGCSE facilitates STEM learning in schools and curriculum
In students’ early school years, the school incorporates and introduces students to devices like sensors, resistors, and motors. This helps students to build up STEM learning from as early as primary years.
It cultivates students to become STEM learners from a young age. Eventually developing better and more skills along the way.
As the students progress through their education years, the Cambridge board introduces more and more complex and advanced technology. This is to help students explore innovation possibilities and breakthroughs.
According to Cambridge, a hydroponics project by Grade 10 and Cambridge International AS Level students worked on the negative impact of climate change on food production in India.
STEM learning is universal and many schools around the world are starting to adopt this learning method.
An example of STEM integration by the Cambridge board is exposing students to a rigorous three-week STEM project where they are tasked to research density, air pressure, and how different everyday situations rely on the particles that make up the air.
Such projects help students to gain insights and experience to prepare them for what they can do in the future.
The Cambridge IGCSE is rolling out projects for students to explore which is part of STEM learning.
In a nutshell, STEM learning is the new learning trend for students and many schools are starting to incorporate STEM learning into the early years of a child’s education. This is to prepare them for what the future holds and nurture them into aspiring leaders of our future.