The meaning of Stem
A new educational model is a trendy topic nowadays. Its characteristics make it ideal, its competences are relevant and its potential in the future seems to have no end. What do we mean? We are talking about the STEM educational program. What do these acronyms mean? And even more important, how can the STEM meaning change the way we see education?
The meaning of STEM is simple; the letters are an acronym that stands for the disciplines Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. The term was minted by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the 1990s. The term STEM, just like that, only serves to group together the 4 major areas of knowledge. The concept “STEM Education” is a new way of teaching Science, Mathematics, and Technology together (in general, not only computer science) with two unique characteristics that help us understand what STEM means.
Science teaching and learning, as well as Engineering and Mathematics, work in a combined way instead of separated areas. Integrated instruction means a program that looks for the assimilation of knowledge through the combination of more than one discipline.
With an engineering approach in terms of theoretical knowledge and subsequent application, it always focuses on solving technological problems.
The essence of engineering is the design and construction of objects and systems that solve a problem. To understand the meaning STEM supposes to apply this educational method in the XXI century where the Engineering and its methods also open way in the curriculum of the Primary and Secondary Education in the same way that Science and the scientific method have been incorporated to the curriculum in the XXI century.
The relationship between Mathematics, Science and Technology are inherent in these disciplines because it is implicit in the meaning of STEM. It is about intentionally provoking scientific research processes for the joint learning of new concepts of Mathematics, Science and Technology within a practical process of design and problem solving, as it is done in Engineering in the real world.
Current research into the application of the project-based learning process and STEM Education demonstrates that the realization of Projects can increase students’ interest in understanding the meaning of STEM in their lives, as they involve students in the solution of authentic problems, work as a team, and build real and tangible solutions.
Stem Means Cutting Edge Education
Stem means progress in educational methods; we see an upward progression in the use of technological materials in the classroom. That is why we see how robotics has made its own way into this type of education, seeing great changes in which this type of device is included. Likewise, we see how the teacher is less reluctant to the use of this type of technology in the classroom, therefore, in the educational process designed for its students.
In a STEM Education, students work in teams and learn to solve real problems on which they must make decisions; they increase their capacity to solve problems in a creative way as well as individual critical thinking, all of this encompasses the meaning of STEM.
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