How can my Kid get into the path of STEM Education

May 15, 2019 | Klahanie

What is STEM?

S.T.E.M. is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. The term STEM is used to express the immensely important educational goal of integrating all curriculum behind the skills that are thought to be the most vital to the success of students in the 21st Century. STEM education is evolving into an integrative curriculum aimed at preparing students for the challenges of the 21st Century. A research-based STEM education program prepares our students to become creative and innovative problem solvers, researchers, engineers, and designers.

Why is STEM important for our students?

Every job within the 21st Century is likely to require some amount of skill in science, technology, engineering and math. The integration of engineering and technology within the mathematics and science curriculum will make instruction more meaningful and engaging as well as provide students with  the skills that are critical to success in the 21st Century. This includes the ability to think critically, solve complex problems, and drive advancements in science and technology. STEM is not just about science and math; it’s about being ready for college, careers and life. We need to ensure we are using all of our current resources efficiently in developing a sustainable STEM program that will distinguish RCS students from all other students in the state and nation.

How can STEM be integrated into all content areas?

The four parts of STEM have been taught  independently of one another for years. By adopting the STEM philosophy, the instruction of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics will no longer be taught in isolation, but will each play an integral part in the curriculum as a whole. The science, engineering, and mathematics fields are made complete by the technology component that provides a creative and innovative way to problem solve and apply what has been learned.

Are school districts implementing STEM?

Yes, many districts  in Washington State are implementing STEM. In larger school districts, whole schools are being organized around the STEM model.  LWSD Schools has three STEM Magnet Schools, one each at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. By contrast, in Issaquah School District and Snoqualmie School District all schools are STEM-identified, meaning they have implemented STEM curriculum in some way.

What is a STEM proficient student?

STEM proficient students are able to answer complex questions, investigate global issues, and develop solutions for challenges and real world problems while applying the rigor of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics content in a seamless fashion. STEM proficient students are logical thinkers, effective communicators and are technologically, scientifically, and mathematically literate.

Which students should develop STEM proficiency? 

Image result for stem related activitiesSTEM education is for all students. The Washington State Department of Education Office of STEM Initiatives is focused on strengthening science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education. STEM Standards of Practice and the associated framework documents are designed to increase the proficiency of all students in STEM and grow the number of students who are well prepared for post-secondary study and careers in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics.

How can STEM support the implementation of the Common Core and NC Essential Standards?

STEM’s emphasis on inquiry, problem-solving, real-world applications, and synthesizing knowledge is aligned with Common Core and Essential Standards.  For example, the standards call on students to practice applying mathematical ways of thinking to real world issues and challenges; they prepare students to think and reason mathematically. STEM connections and resources will be embedded in instructional guides. These guides will be used by teachers to facilitate classroom instruction and implementation of the Common Core, Essential Standards, and STEM education.

What are some basic steps parents can take to help their children explore STEM?
Here are some things you can do as a parent to encourage your child’s interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. This information is taken from National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA):

  • Parents can help their children by exhibiting attitudes and values that support learning. Encourage your child to ask questions and avoid negative statements like “I was never good at math”; be positive and expect your child to be successful.

  • Help your child see how they encounter science, technology and mathematics in their everyday life. Whether it be in the sports section of the newspaper reviewing team statistics, cooking with your child or working around the house on painting or building projects, point out how mathematics, science or technology is being used.

  • Encourage students to ask questions and explore careers early. How much education is required to be a mechanical engineer, a computer programmer, or a radiologist? What subjects should they be taking in school to prepare them for a STEM career?

  • Familiarize yourself with the national and state standards in science, mathematics, and technology. Become aware of what your child should be learning at each grade level.

  • Have your child involved in various organizations such as the 4-H club, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Explorer Clubs, or Boys and Girls clubs that help develop an interest in the STEM fields.

  • Take advantage of informal learning opportunities such as museums, science centers, planetariums, aquariums, zoos, and park/recreation programs. We live in an area that has excellent selection of informal learning opportunities and programs.

Mathnasium of Issaquah has Summer programs developed around STEM as focus and to make kids get stronger Math foundation. Our emphasis is on how Math can relate to the technology and Science. Please contact us at 425-270-1054 for more information.