Why is STEM education important?
According to research from the US Department of Commerce in 2017, occupations that specialize in the utilization of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) growing at nearly twice the speed of other non-related fields. It is widely believed that STEM experts and workers play an integral role in the progress and supremacy of America’s economy, and it is also believed that STEM occupations can have a major impact on helping America regain a position as one of the dominant forces in innovation on a global scale. STEM occupations are responsible for many of the modern advancements you see each year, which in turn can help the economy by creating all-new products, production jobs, and the need for process improvements. These things open up the opportunity for higher employment rates and advancement, which are key components of a national economy that thrives. Despite what positive things we know about STEM education and occupations, math and science scores of American students are falling behind when compared to several of today’s incipient nations. There is a great deal of potential earnings and job placement for students looking to start a career in technological advancement, and STEM education can help them to realize their goals much better than traditional learning methods.
What is STEM Education?
As we mentioned earlier, STEM occupations are associated with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. In STEM education, these 4 tenants are taught synergistically as opposed to being taught as separate concepts. STEM education is designed to incorporate each into a cohesive system with real-life applications based on firsthand experience for students. This is achieved through experiential learning in the combined fields of science, technology, engineering and math. However, the total number of students interested in STEM careers has gradually started to decline as of late. As expected, this has had little impact on the rapid progress of technological advancement, which is an area of the market only gaining momentum by the year. It is believed that STEM careers will continue to grow at a similar and increasingly faster rate as well. STEM education aims to help the nation’s youth corner the market in technological innovation by providing them a more useful and relevant experience in each field from an early age.
How does Nature’s Academy utilize STEM?
We promote academic progress through an experiential approach to learning (learning in the field if you will). You may have heard experiential learning described as a hands-on approach, which is accurate, but does not quite encompass the entire concept. It involves much more than simply real-life experience. To be considered experiential learning, there must be periods where the students undergo synthesis, critical analysis, and reflection in their pursuit of resolution to a given, real-world problem utilizing STEM processes. This will allow students the opportunity to make decisions, and be held accountable for their results. There must also be opportunities for students to participate either intellectually, creatively, emotionally, socially, or physically. The learning experience will include the possibility to learn from natural consequences that arise from mistakes and successes. Learning this way has shown solid evidence to support the notion that experiential learning significantly augments a student’s ability to recall what they have learned at a later date. We take students on Edventures® throughout the state of Florida to give them the opportunity to learn about nature in a fun, challenging, and academically beneficial environment. Students will have the opportunity to engage in scientific activities such as water cycle observations, wilderness investigation, and data collection. They will utilize modern and useful technological and engineering practices in all the Edventures® we offer. And through our Citizen Scientist Program, students can experience the importance of math first-hand. For more information about our STEM-focused outdoor field trips in South Florida contact us by clicking here or call us 941.462.2162.