From colleges to preschools, STEM continues to be a hot topic for both formal and informal education. STEM education is being driven by our increasingly technical society, a fear that America is falling behind in innovation, a lack of STEM college graduates and the need to prepare today's youth for the jobs of tomorrow.
Last month, Andy the Science Wiz provided 10 tips for providing math enrichment afterschool. Want to include even more math? Check out these additional ideas!
Working in the private and public sectors, I have been involved in science education for over 20 years. From parents and principals, to CEOs and administrators, I am passionate and accustomed to fighting for STEM. Today, I need to speak about something more fundamental.
Yikes, math! Unfortunately, the sentiment is often shared by young people and adults alike. Math has a bad rap in the United States, and this attitude reflects in the country's test scores.
WHAT IS ENGINEERING?
Scientists study what already exists. They examine the world around them to understand how it works.
Young people today face a health crisis—unhealthy eating habits and decreased physical activity have led to skyrocketing obesity rates. Not long ago, young people walked to school, enjoyed long recesses and spent a lot of time outside.
Science, Technology, Engineering and Math—the subjects called STEM—continue to be a major focal point in education. This urgent focus on STEM came from the growing concern that education was not providing the building blocks necessary for students to achieve successful future employment in an increasingly technical world.
YouTube now has more viewers ages 18-49 than television. It currently streams over 6 billion hours of video every month and they are in no danger of running out of content with 400 hours of video being uploaded every minute. Thankfully YouTube has matured and is not just for cat videos anymore!
The Three Little Pigs: A classic fairy tale, or a fun way to introduce structural engineering? The Very Hungry Caterpillar: A cute story about caterpillar obesity, or a platform to launch a topic on moving, growing insects and life cycles? Incorporating literacy into STEM activities or vice versa is a great way to promote abstract and creative thinking. Literacy can provide motivation for young people who are not immediately drawn to STEM subjects, and it can provide easy pathways to STEM for staff who might be intimidated by math and science.