Hind Louali Shares Facts about STEM Education

The acronym STEM is the shortened version of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. STEM education is a field and curriculum centered on the disciplines of these four subjects.

Hind Louali explains that STEM education was introduced in 2001 by the scientific administrators of the United States National Science Foundation, or NSF. Before, the organization used the acronym SMET when referring to the career fields in those four disciplines or a curriculum incorporating knowledge and skills from these fields.

In 2001, American biologist Judith Ramaley, who was then assistant director of education and human resources at NSF, rearranged the words and formed the STEM acronym. Since then, many countries have adopted STEM-focused curricula. Today, STEM programs are developed in several countries, such as Australia, France, China, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and Taiwan.

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STEM programs involve applying real-world scenarios. It means that students leave the classroom and see how to use subjects in the real world. This kind of learning aids students in understanding the importance of the subject matter. It, in turn, allows for a deeper appreciation of their lessons. As a result, students also feel more invested in their education.

Because of STEM, when students learn and understand the significance of math in everyday life, they feel more motivated to learn its concepts and pay more attention in class. For middle and high school students, connecting what they are learning to something outside the classroom means they are more engaged with learning. Students can maintain or even discover a passion for specific subjects when they understand why learning something is important. Hind Louali mentions this is a big deal, especially when they lose interest in their education.

STEM education can also help develop vital skills. Kids can use these skills for the rest of their lives. This kind of education encourages students to think critically whenever they solve problems. While other disciplines may give students problems with a single correct answer, Hind Louali says that STEM activities require students to use trial and error to determine the best methods.

Through STEM, students use previous lessons to help them understand and solve problems and activities. It allows them to build their knowledge gradually. For instance, they may learn a complex math formula that adds to their previous studies, and then they can use that formula for, say, a science activity. The students then see how both science and math work together.

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