Stem Education, What Is?
Our world is undergoing big changes. Work demands are renewed and more and more people with different skills and qualifications are being asked for. Nowadays, machines and robots increase the tendency to replace a large part of the human labor force. Will STEM education be the solution?
Certain topics related to science and technology, such as robotics or programming language may be strange to many people. That is why for more than ten years some countries such as the United States, Canada or France have adopted the teaching-learning methodology in some of their schools, STEM education which covers four key areas from which it gets its name:
Sometimes the letter ‘A’ (STEAM) is also added to include the art.
With an interdisciplinary approach, STEM education can give more skills to basic education students; it also integrates these subjects into a base model for some professions that will be in high demand in a short time and cover areas such as business management, computing, mathematics, architecture, engineering, social sciences, education and sales. All of them are known as “STEM professions”.
Why is this system becoming so important?
This innovative method seeks to empower students’ capabilities so that they are able to understand the new field demands and create better opportunities for their future.
Thus, with a STEM education program, students can observe and experiment to produce results through science, and they will be able to develop effective systems to solve real-world problems with engineering. Through Technology they will use the first two aspects to create and correct devices and information systems. Applying Mathematics, they will be able to apply numerical, spatial and logical use to study and solve problems.
Educating and having fun at the same time
An important approach within the STEM education model is to combine the axes of learning with a playful practice for children. This purpose is achieved through the use of skills such as programming and building robots that work with platforms that drive them and help them to be creative and resolute.
One of these platforms is Makeblock, a company founded in 2011, in the city of Shenzhen, China, focused on the creation of robotics kits aimed at promoting STEM education. To date it has reached countries such as Canada, France and now Mexico.
Among these new STEM education toys, there is an assembling robot that can acquire various forms depending on the imagination of the child. It is managed through simple programming languages which can be taught from preschool level so that children learn programming logic.
In the first years of primary education, this language is added to the use of basic concepts and mathematics, giving certain commands to robots such as “add two plus two and advance four squares,” “turn left and walk three”. In later years, a complete machine programming language is taught.
It is obvious that the paradigm of STEM education can achieve great and better changes in the process of teaching and learning.
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