Written by Anna
March 22, 2021
At a Glance
The world we are living in is changing, there are many global challenges we are facing and we are reliant on science and technology to overcome them. By 2025, it is expected that STEM related jobs are set to rise by 3.5 million with more than 2 million jobs anticipated to be unfilled because not enough people are entering the industry (source).
With this in mind, we have put together a parent’s guide to STEM education to help you support your young, budding scientists, engineering and mathematicians.
What you need to know
Firstly, let’s address the elephant in the room… What does STEM actually mean? STEM stands for:
You may have also heard of “STEAM” careers, STEAM covers the subjects listed above with the addition of Art.
Both employers and educators are focusing on STEM subjects and interdisciplinary learning due to the global need for specialists within these fields. By teaching them in an interdisciplinary way in a project based learning environment, lessons resemble “real life” challenges that students would face in the outside world.
They are required to use their scientific knowledge, maths ability, problem solving skills and technology know how to overcome challenges. Similarly to the real world, is it very rare that a challenge will involve just one skillset or knowledge base. This is why interdisciplinary learning is so crucial to student’s development.
Why is STEM so important?
The importance of STEM is demonstrated in our everyday lives, a life where you can simply ask Alexa or Google anything you need to know. Our global challenges are no longer simply a case of knowing the answer, it’s about knowing which questions need to be asked and how to think creatively to overcome problems. STEM helps young people to develop these skills and prepares them for the real world, and their futures.
It is important to note that students do not need the most expensive or up to date equipment in order to develop the skill set needed for the future of STEM. They need an inquisitive mind, a nurturing environment to develop their thought processes and skills as well as the education to learn about the key concepts within science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Here are some of the key benefits of promoting a STEM career to your young people:
Guaranteed opportunities within the workplace for the rest of their lives
Uncapped earning potential – good for those motivated by money!
The potential to make a real difference to world and the lives of millions of people
Develop skills for life such as problem solving, critical thinking, teamwork and many more
What can I do to promote STEM education?
There are lots of things you can do at home, simply introducing your young person to potential job opportunities within STEM is a great start. The Career Pilot, Prospects and Tomorrow’s Engineer websites are all great resources for this. You can also aid the development of their skillset at home by setting them STEM based projects to work on, here are some ideas.
Universities across the UK offer a wide range of STEM based webinars, summer school opportunities and taster sessions. You can find these on the individual universities websites or sites such as UniTasterDays or UCAS offer a showcase of events where you can see several universities offerings all in one place.
You can also sign up to the SaigolEd App release where your young people can benefit from star teachers from the UK’s leading schools, AI to fully personalise learning and immersive videos with special effects. The app aims to give every young person access to the UK’s best GCSE teaching.
STEM education is essential for the future of our world. Accelerating your young people’s skills, education and experiences within the STEM field will prepare them for a future within a career offering a wide range of benefits.
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