S.T.E.M – A way of thinking

STEM is a big buzzword in the United States and it has multiple implementations based on what schools perceive it as. STEM is more than a way of integrating science, maths, and engineering as part of classroom courses
STEM is not just a coding course or a science experiment but the ability to analyze and think of a concept to implementation to real-world problems of scenarios.This may be done in a non-curriculum or curriculum-based approach.
“STEM is more than a school subject, or the periodic table, or the properties of waves. It is an approach to the world, a critical way to understand and explore and engage with the world, and then have the capacity to change that world and to share this accumulated knowledge. It’s a mindset that says we that can use reason and logic and honest inquiry to reach new conclusions and solve big problems.”
Former President, Obama

“Coding is a vital component of tech education, but it won’t be enough to sustain the next generation of workers.With technology changing rapidly and new job areas emerging and transforming constantly, that’s no longer the case.”
-Sundar Pichai, Google

The Next Generation Science Standards has created a 3 Dimensional approach to learning science that helps in integrating hands-on problem solving and critically thinking about how science can be used in everyday lives or larger real-life problems. For example, Newton’s laws of motion are used for Rocket science and the ability to understand why we study it can generate interest and engagement in students even for those who do not get excited about learning science. NGSS framework allows immersive digital content being easily incorporated as part of learning exercises and also help in deriving continuous new lessons based on each concepts linking it to new problems or areas.

Technology is an enabler in almost every kind of area and is the basis of the how things work and why it works this way. Technology is changing at a rapid pace with new tools and technologies included the paradigm to development of technology products. You do not need to write a 1-page program to execute a small feature in the web, but with the advent of new areas like AI, Data Science, we see frameworks and patterns where a few lines of coding or no coding can help in building new technology solutions.While many fear that technologies like AI may replace jobs or control our lives, in reality, its practical uses today can help in improving education by proving better learning paths using knowldege based on patterns and models.

The ability to adapt to technology and experiment your hypothesis is very important.Science and Engineering require multiple hands-on experimentations using devices like Arduino or Raspberry Pi Kits, Facial recognition, Interactive Circuits or Lab based experimentation like a Chemistry/Physics or a Biology Dissection Lab. The ability to create your own hypotheses can be important or simply getting to do it yourself makes the student more engaged in the next steps of learning.

AWIS NJ – What is STEM learning all about?

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