What is STEM?
STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and was first branded by Judith A. Ramalay, a former director of the National Science Foundation’s education and human-resources division. It has become a focus for education policy and development. This revolutionary approach is designed to reform teaching in math and science by incorporating technology and engineering into regular curriculum by creating a “meta-discipline.”
How is it different?
STEM education seeks to reform the typical teaching style from the teacher lecturing in the front of the class to a more problem-solving, discovery, exploratory learning approach. Rather than just “scratching the surface,” this approach will require students to critically examine problems and actively engage in a situation in order to find its solution. Instead of the typical program in which each part of STEM is taught separately, the STEM approach is to teach all the parts as a whole. The technology element that provides an innovative way in solving problems and applying what has been learned is the final component that brings the Science, Engineering, and Mathematics parts together as a whole.
Participants of this initiative, usually include students who are interested in pursuing careers in one of those fields and are therefore being exposed to college-level classes in high school. By using highly specialized professional applications at very early ages, it is our hope that we may take full advantage of STEM intellectual capabilities and talents and help develop those abilities at a younger age
What are STEM’s future implications?
According to The National Science Foundation, “80% of the jobs created in the next decade will require some form of math and science skills.” In order to meet that need, it is crucial to not only prepare our students to meet those needs but to develop them early so that we may become more innovative thus advancing the country and becoming more competitive nationally.
At Grayson, we believe in and support the STEM initiative in schools, and have incorporated it into our curriculum. It is our hope that through this initiative, our students will develop the skills needed to be competitive in top schools and careers, or to even be the next Dean Kamen, Benjamin Franklin, Marie Curie, or Isaac Newton.