The Connected Generation #3: “STEM”ming Kids’ Interests

Increasing kids’ interest in technology and science through initiatives both inside and outside of the classroom.

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.  This acronym has recently been getting a lot of attention.  The goal of STEM is to strengthen students’ interest and skill in the disciplines of science, technology, engineering and math with the hope that they will seek out STEM-related jobs.
 
While the STEM disciplines have been prevalent in schools for a long time, getting students interested or committed to these difficult disciplines is a challenge.  Current initiatives, both inside and outside the classroom, have been hard at work trying to engage students’ interest in STEM subjects.
 
Similar to our recent article on coding, education and online-based programs have been created to teach children about STEM subjects in a fun and interactive way.
 
For example, Scouts Canada has created a STEM program that uses games, activities, and events to teach students STEM subjects.   The program is designed to be hands-on and interactive, with students designing, exploring, and experimenting on a variety of different subjects, such as space exploration and robotics.[1]
 
Another example is STEM Works, which uses online games and activities to teach STEM subjects.  These games/activities are designed to make STEM subjects easy to understand and fun to learn.  The website also lists articles on a number of different STEM-based jobs (ex. video game designer, molecular biologist, etc.) in order to show students the kinds of careers open to them.[2]
 
These are just two examples of some of the many STEM-related programs and groups currently active all over the world.
 
But is it working?  Are students and members of the younger generation showing interest in the STEM disciplines?
 
This is not an easy question to answer.  At the end of the day, students will either have an interest in one or more of the STEM disciplines or they will not.  It is not something that can or should be forced on students, despite best intentions, especially if the goal is to develop a long standing interest in the STEM disciplines.
 
What’s important is that educational, for-profit and non-profit organizations continue to promote and make their curriculums more STEM-friendly so that students continue to be exposed to the new ideas being produced by these disciplines.
 
At the end of the day the future is in innovation and that is something that STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) excels at.
 
References for this article:
[1] Scouts Canada. (n.d.).  About the Scouts Canada STEM Program.  Retrieved from      https://www.scouts.ca/stem/about.html
[2] STEM Works. (n.d.).  Welcome to STEM Works.  Retrieved from https://stem-works.com/
 
 
Courtney Rosebush is a Marketing and Sales Coordinator at Triella, a technology consulting firm specializing in providing technology audits, planning advice, project management and other CIO-related services to small and medium sized firms. Courtney can be reached at 647.426.1004 x 227. For additional articles, go to www.triella.com/publications. Triella is a VMware Professional Partner, Microsoft Certified Partner, Citrix Solution Advisor – Silver, Dell Preferred Partner, Authorized Worldox Reseller and a Kaspersky Reseller.
© 2016 by Triella Corp. All rights reserved. Reproduction with credit is permitted.
 

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