STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) is important because it pervades every part of our lives. According to the U. S. Department of Commerce, STEM occupations are growing at 17%, while other occupations are growing at 9.8%. STEM education creates critical thinkers, increases science literacy and enables the next generation of innovators. So why aren’t we all doing it? Implementing change can be hard, especially with all other initiatives schools have going.
We know creating more opportunities for STEM And STEAM with our students will better prepare them for the future, but where do you even start, especially when funding becomes a major stumbling block? According to an article by Dr. Jo Anne Vasquez written for the MIND Research Institute, starting small and building up implementation is the first step in the transition. Dr. Vasquez suggests, “Implementing a STEM program, like any new approach, is all about changing the system. First, you have to get everybody on the same page about the operational definition of STEM and what STEM teaching and learning should look like. Bring STEM lessons for teachers to try. Then have teachers work as a team to see where those natural connections in their standards are and where they might be creative about designing lessons."
Sometimes that is easier said than done, especially in education. My analogy for this is Chocolate Cake--and why not? Everyone (or 99.2% of the folks I know) likes chocolate cake!
Who would have ever thought that my father-in-law, who turns 88 tomorrow, would be googling his ailments on the Internet! I announce this with pride because his “new” wife (whom he married at the tender age of 80) mentioned a few years ago that “he may be old, but he is teachable.”