Inquiry-based learning and problem-solving help students form a particular mindset. This flexible and curious mindset equips learners to tackle challenges in their lives, both within and outside the classroom.
Children have natural STEM capacities that can be cultivated through the curriculum and learning by experience. Some of these capacities include independent exploration, observation, and creativity.
STEM Education Encourages Creativity
STEM subjects encourage students to use their creativity to solve problems. They learn that even if their first idea doesn’t work, they can keep trying until they find an answer that works. This helps students develop a healthier relationship with failure and reframe it as a learning opportunity.
STEM education is a crucial part of building an innovative economy. It teaches students to think outside the box, which leads to greater productivity and allows businesses to produce more goods and services.
STEM-focused programs can teach critical thinking skills essential for all career paths. Students who can problem-solve and analyze can build careers that will take them anywhere.
STEM Education Promotes Collaboration
Inspiring curiosity in students is a central feature of the STEM education center. Students can apply their lessons to real-world scenarios, which helps them connect with the subject matter and feel more invested in their education.
This approach also encourages collaboration and teamwork. STEM subjects require students to work together to solve complex problems, which requires various skills. Students learn to communicate ideas, listen to others, and work through conflicting opinions.
Additionally, STEM subjects and activities help kids develop a healthier relationship with failure by reframing it as a learning opportunity. This is especially true in STEM competitions, where students from different schools collaborate with peers worldwide to tackle challenges like reducing waste or creating energy-efficient stoves. As such, these activities promote global citizenship and awareness in students.
STEM Education Develops Problem-Solving Skills
The fields of STEM have long been the driving force behind America’s economic power. These subjects are the core of innovation and are responsible for countless inventions that improve our lives in various ways.
Educators and parents should encourage curiosity in children by inspiring exploration, imagination, and the drive to discover answers to open questions. As children learn to ask questions and explore new ideas, they develop critical thinking skills and are more capable of solving complex problems.
Research shows that children are not limited to concrete thinking based on what they see and experience. Cognitive development is much more influenced by an individual’s beliefs about their abilities. Experiences that support children’s executive function (EF) development are crucial to their success in STEM learning.
Many young people associate STEM education with “science R2-D2,” but it’s more than that. The STEM curriculum helps children develop skills using project-based learning and real-world scenarios.
It encourages creativity and curiosity and fosters the ability to solve problems with diverse skills. This type of holistic education prepares students for any career and can help them succeed in higher-level STEM classes in college.
It also discourages black-and-white thinking, allowing students to see that most things aren’t simply good or bad, right or wrong, and can often be in between. This cognitive reframing can help them overcome the fear of failure that keeps many students from pursuing STEM careers. It can also help them avoid falling into the trap of blaming themselves for their failures, which can be particularly common among teens.
Encourages Independent Exploration
Science, technology, engineering, and math disciplines are critical for the economy because they help power businesses and fuel innovation that improves our lives. However, many educators need to become more familiar with STEM education.
An excellent way to do this is by highlighting the ways everyday experiences can relate to STEM concepts. This practical approach engages students in STEM learning and empowers them to solve problems with imagination and curiosity.
When teachers and parents believe that young children have natural STEM capabilities, they can support their explorations. They can also be supportive when kids get frustrated by challenging activities by encouraging them to keep trying and re-engaging their interest in the task with open-ended questions like why, how, and where.