It’s definitely a term you’ve heard before with some importance attached to it. But what is STEM exactly and why should it matter to you? Well, I’m glad you asked…
First, let’s talk basics: STEM stands for Science, Technology Engineering and Math
There are many highly technical, overly involved ways to explain STEM; but basically, it is a core teaching curriculum based on the four disciplines that make up the acronym.
But, why STEM?
There is no getting around it. We live in a tech world. So, I don’t know about you, but I’d sure like my kids to spend at least some of their time in K-12 preparing for success in said tech world.
Ok, so maybe you’re not convinced yet. That’s where I come in. Now I’ll admit, I’m no fortuneteller, but I am about to give you a look into your child’s technology-driven future…
STEM Stats that Make you Think
So Many Jobs, So Few Qualified Applicants
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the year 2020 is going to see one million more computer science related jobs than qualified candidates. Does that blow your mind like it does mine?
That’s the kind of statistic that feels like a wake up call, but it doesn’t necessarily have to become a reality. Let’s get our kids interested in STEM today and get them ready to fill those jobs of tomorrow!
If it’s so Important, my Child’s School Must be Teaching it, Right?
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but a comprehensive research study conducted by Gallup determined that the majority of schools in the U.S. don’t teach computer programing—only 1 in 4 schools teach it, to be exact.
The U.S. has always focused on Science and Math, but we are failing to keep up with the Technology and Engineering aspects, even as their importance continues to grow.
I would suggest talking to your child’s teacher and asking how they are incorporating STEM into the classroom. If STEM isn’t being taught, or maybe they are just barely scratching the surface, it might be time to get involved at a higher level.
Closing the Educational Divide
The truth is, the United States is simply falling behind when it comes to K-12 education.
Proactive nations such as Finland, Japan and India are taking innovative approaches that are proving quite effective, while the World Economic Forum has ranked the U.S. at a sad 52nd in quality of math and science education.
Surely by now you understand that it’s up to us to start getting things back on track. Parents and educators alike need to get involved at every level and start insisting that STEM education get the respect it deserves.
Girls Love STEM Too! So Why Aren’t They Getting the Most Out of it?
Ok, here’s a big one: According to the National Science Foundation, Over 60% of girls love science and math but less than a third of them will major in these disciplines. I don’t know about you, but I’d say there’s something wrong with that picture.
We have certainly come a long way towards gender equality, but there is no denying that there is still work to be done. The good news is, it’s never too late.
Here’s a good place to start—Let’s all encourage our daughters, granddaughters, sisters and nieces to pursue their interests in STEM.
Equality with STEM
It isn’t just girls. Underrepresented minorities (African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans) earn only 12.5% of all Engineering Degrees and represent only 10% of the science and engineering workforce.
Whether we’re talking social equality or STEM statistics, gender gaps or racial biases, the end goal is the same: All children, no matter their background, should be given the same opportunities to succeed.
STEM: The Best Way to Make Sure Your Kids Don’t Live at Home Forever
Now if this one doesn’t convince you, then I don’t know what will…
A computer science major can earn 40% more than the average college graduate. 40% MORE! This is not some tiny salary bump we’re talking about here.
All you have to do is turn on the TV or open your internet browser to hear about all the Millennials moving back in with Mom and Dad these days. It’s not their fault; it’s a rough market out there.
But if you want to retain your future empty nest freedom, I suggest you start encouraging STEM today!
Ok, I get. But What Do I Do Now?
I hope you’re beginning to understand...
STEM is the wave of the future, so it’s a good idea for your kids to start taking it all in today. But simply learning to code and program on a computer is not enough. If you want your child to find their inner genius, they need to go further.
When it comes to lesson retention, kids learn more when they participate in hands-on activities and have fun with their peers. They want to see how things work, program something they can then see in action and play with their friends; so let the learning stem (pun intended) from that.
Ozobot takes your kids on a STEM journey that they will barely even recognize as educational. This fun programmable robot does so much. It teaches them to code and program, inspires their creativity and improves their problem-solving skills!
Your kids will love playing with Ozobot and you’ll love the way it helps them grow and learn. But honestly, however you decide to incorporate STEM into your child’s life, the bottom line is this: You want to see your child succeed in the 21st century and that means your child needs a solid STEM foundation starting today.
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