What is STEM Education and why is it Important?
STEM is an acronym associated with a style of teaching in which science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are taught synergistically. Rather than teach these subjects separately, STEM education strives to integrate each into a unified system with real life experience and applications. As of late, the number of students interested in STEM careers has gradually started to decline. With technological advancement on the rise, and gaining momentum every day, it is believed by many that STEM careers will follow suit, as science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are the basis of most modern advancement. The goal of STEM education in America is to take the nation’s youth from the middle of the pack, to international forerunners in technological innovation by providing them a more useful and relevant experience in each incorporated field from an early age.
According to the US Department of Commerce, STEM occupations are growing nearly twice as fast as any other type of occupation out there (17% growth for STEM jobs compared to 9.8% growth for other occupations). Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics experts and workers play an increasingly important role in the growth and strength of the US economy. They can also play a major role in helping the US retake their position as a dominant force in global innovation. Modern advancements create new products, production jobs, and a need for process improvement, which help to create a strong and prosperous national economy. In spite of this, math and science scores of American students are falling further and further behind other emerging nations. There is a lot of untapped investment out there in America’s technological future; and STEM education aims to help kids not only get a head start, but gain a competitive edge in locking it down.
How can STEM education help the environment?
Conservation and our natural future depends on logistical and technological innovations in the field of environmental science. All four tenets of STEM education can help America’s future leaders solve the issue of sustaining, protecting and conserving our environment. There is no shortage of projected job openings in the field of environmental science in the near future as well, with “green chemistry” expected to grow 35-fold and become a 100 billion dollar industry by the year 2020. However, the field of science will be responsible for so much more in the future of conservation than simple chemistry. Enter E-STEM (Environmental Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). E-STEM teaches students how to employ the most effective methods to meet rigorous standards set forth by the Environmental Protection Agency, and encourages young thinkers to develop sustainable communities and beyond. Environmental and technological science in the STEM model encourages kids to think outside the box using all they have learned in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math to solve current and future environmental problems, such as pollution, in a practical manner, utilizing an intuitive and innovative model not currently taught in most conventional classrooms. According to: Literacy is Not Enough (Crockett, Lee et. al.; 2011), some of the most paramount skills for the 21st Century workplace will be problem solving, creativity, analytic thinking, collaboration, communication and ethics. E-STEM learning is grounded in real world context which helps to foster and develop these skills in today’s youth.
STEM Educational Field Trips in South Florida
For more information about STEM field trips or to book an outdoor educational field trip with Nature’s Academy click here. You can also give us a call on 941.462.2162 for more about our STEM-focused field trips.