Our world is increasingly dependent on STEM, and today’s students need to acquire the knowledge and ingenuity to address its rapidly changing challenges. For example, we need environmental scientists to help make our world cleaner and safer, agriculture specialists to help feed a rapidly growing population, and robotics engineers to invent machines that make our lives and jobs easier.
That’s why demand for STEM skills in the workforce is rising dramatically. In fact, the “STEM job growth [hit] 4.6 percent (compared to 1.8 percent for the overall job market as of 2017).”1 And new STEM-related jobs that we hadn’t even imagined a few years ago are being created every day.
As parents, we can help prepare our children to embrace the challenges of a rapidly changing world by ensuring that they have a strong STEM education. And math, of course, is the underlying foundation for all STEM subjects.
But What Does STEM Mean to Kids?
A child might dream about being a sports statistician, a roller coaster designer, a video game designer, an astronaut or a marine biologist. Too often, though, they don’t understand that these are STEM careers.
According to an online Randstad Survey of students ages 11-17:
- 76% don’t know what engineers do for work.
- 87% think people who study STEM work at companies like NASA; far fewer associate them with mainstream consumer brands like Instagram (40%) and Coca-Cola (26%).
- 47% don’t know what kind of engineering jobs are out there or see a need for math in engineering sports gear such as a skateboard.
- 49% don’t know what kind of math jobs are out there or are aware that math skills play an important role in jobs such as fashion design.
Students are also largely unaware of the financial advantages that STEM offers: Statistics Canada found that, in 2015, “Young men with a STEM degree earned 23.9% more than young men with a BHASE (business, humanities, health, arts, social science, and education) degree, whereas young women with a STEM degree earned 11.5% more than young women with a BHASE degree.”2
However, a strong STEM education isn’t just for students who plan to follow STEM careers. The math, problem-solving, and critical-thinking skills they get from STEM education will help them get into colleges and universities and succeed throughout their lives.
A World of Possibility
As parents, you can encourage STEM learning in your child by discussing its importance and by incorporating it into your daily lives. Talk about fractions when you’re cooking. Ask your child to compute the cost of items at the store. Build something with your child and discuss how engineering is part of building.
The future of our world depends on STEM education. Mathnasium gives students the support they need to boost their mathematical knowledge, earn better grades in all STEM subjects, and build brighter futures. Equipped with math confidence, today’s students will soar as high as their imaginations can take them.
1 Wilfred Laurier University, Laurier Inspiring Lives (2019). How Will STEM Jobs Grow in the Future? Online. Retrieved from: https://online.wlu.ca/news/2019/12/18/how-will-stem-jobs-grow-future
2 Statistics Canada, Census in Brief (2017). Is field of study a factor in the earnings of young bachelor’s degree holders? StatCan. Retrieved from: https://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2016/as-sa/98-200-x/2016023/98-200-x2016023-eng.cfm