A firm base in STEM studies is fundamental to the education of any student. This is true, not only for those who intend to pursue a future in STEM fields but in general for the intellectual development of any learner. STEM teaches not merely valuable concepts, but also provides a deep understanding of nature and life. While physics attempts to decode the mysteries of our universe, biology attempts to understand life and math provides the tools that aid all sciences in their practices. The learning of these branches together imparts a sense of inquiry and appreciation for knowledge which guides a student through the path of learning.
The process of learning and practicing the STEM disciplines can instill in students a passion for inquiry and discovery , and fosters skills such as persistence, teamwork and a progressive outlook towards new situations. A thorough understanding of these fields helps a student develop valuable skills of problem solving and critical thinking which helps them in all future endeavors.
The three cornerstones of STEM are observation, experimentation, and innovation. All Science begins with observation and most of the innovations we see around us have their source in simple observations. A keen sense of observation instills an inquisitive mindset and develops a student’s ability for lifelong learning. Every observation that stirs a question is followed by figuring out the answer to the question. This process includes building up ideas to come up with theories, diving into new disciplines to find solutions and ultimately, experimentation to determine the plausibility of the developed theory. In STEM education there is a hands-on experience for students in labs or fields where they can witness wonderful phenomenon and recreate them at their own disposal. These practices engage students and employ, a responsive, problem and inquiry-based approach. Moreover, through these practices, a learner develops skills of using the scientific method which is the best tool for analysis, interpretation, and innovation.
An advanced STEM education envisions a high quality and personalized STEM course for every student, where they can learn through interactive methods. This will help them develop a sense of belonging in the sciences, which will engage them for future interest in the subject. The ever challenging enterprise of science will facilitate “bootstrapping” or the ability to get oneself out of or make sense of the problematic situation by the resources at hand.
Through such an intensive learning experience, students will develop and possess skills which can aid their development not only in STEM but in fields as different as arts or commerce or literature. At the heart of STEM courses lies the aim to make every student capable of great learning capacity and have a bright future in this ever changing world. Moreover, our age is the, “age of information” and it is only through knowledge that our new generation of learner’s can excel. As our world is becoming more technology oriented, more minds must be driven towards STEM for great innovations that are waiting to see the light of day. By good value based STEM education, students will be aware of the perils facing our world. They’ll be engaged in developing constructive solutions to protect our rich earth and it’ll help also help students lead a sustainable and responsible life.
The major drawback encircling our current education system lies in its textbook based, marks oriented approach. While these parameters are necessary and do provide us with measurable ways to account intellect, they fall short of telling us about how students think about these subjects or whether they are interested in the subject or not. Even for a better career based approach, it is necessary that learners develop enthusiasm and passion towards the subjects.
STEM champ attempts to bridge this drawback by providing solutions which are easily accessible to each student. STEM champ plans to achieve the goal of holistic and advanced STEM learning, which includes:
- Creating an interactive experience for students.
- Engaging students in more hands-on activities, for raised interest.
- Help students learn through trial and error and individual exploration.
- Developing a networked approach for students, where students can interact and learn as a community.
- Promoting diversity in learning and teaching practices.
- Flexible learning spaces: helping students develop their own outlook and perspective towards problems.
By use of technological tools and resources, each student could be taught at his own pace. By using a personalized approach specific interests of students could be determined and encouraged. Moreover, use of high quality and simplified content will make it easier for students to understand concepts. Due to inefficient teaching practices and textbook based approach, students have come to look at STEM as monotonous and drab. By use of conceptual thought provoking learning, which induces critical thinking, a student can be made to see the dynamic, exciting side of STEM. By providing field-based, experimental assignments studying will become a dynamic, joyful ride for students. True STEM learning is a continuous cycle of curiosity, experimentation, research and reflection, by making students first-hand participants in this process, the mission of advanced STEM learning could be achieved.