Science, Technology, Engineering and Math: The STEM of your child’s blossoming future

Makerkids is a place where kids can engage in STEM concepts without even realizing it!

STEM is the applied, integrated approach to science, technology, engineering and math. It is about using math and science to solve real-world challenges and problems.

The term “STEM” was coined by Dr. Judith Ramaley (1) when she was assistant director of the National Science Foundation’s education and human resources division from 2001 to 2004, working to develop curriculum that would enhance education in science, mathematics, engineering and technology. The initial result was labeled with the acronym SMET, but Ramaley didn’t like the sound of it so she suggested STEM as an alternative, where science and math serve as bookends for technology and engineering.

Fast forward to 2017 and the term “STEM” is mainstream education concept. According to Vince Bertram, President and CEO of Project Lead The Way, Inc. (3) STEM fields are at the core of everything we do. STEM connects to everything, whether it is the arts, music, sports or agriculture.

In an interview with huffingtonpost.com, Bertram stated that:

“We must continue engaging students in the STEM disciplines and encouraging them to combine technical knowledge and skills with the creativity that leads to innovative ideas — ideas that give the arts new technologies, music new instruments, farmers new machines, and our businesses a competitive advantage.” (3)

So, why is STEM education important for school age kids?

  • Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC), in its latest 10-year employment growth outlook, forecasts that some of the biggest growth will occur in STEM-related fields. HRSDC says that almost 75 percent of new jobs between 2009 and 2018 will be in high-skill occupations. (6)
  • When students are younger they have a great interest in science. As they get older, however, science is seen more as “complicated” and “difficult,” as one survey said, versus “fun” or “inspiring.” At all ages, we need to ensure that STEM subject matter is delivered in a way that connects to real-world issues. (6)
  • Kids are perfectly adapted to learn STEM concepts. Children are naturally curious, and by simply allowing them to investigate and encouraging them to ask questions about the real world, you are engaging them in STEM. (4)
  • It allows students to be active, engaged, and to take initiative in their own learning. (5)
  • It calls on parents and educators to give children chances to investigate an idea in a variety of settings. (4)

At Makerkids, STEM is what makes our world go round. All our three core STEM topics (robotics, coding and Minecraft) foster innovation, collaboration, creativity and out of the box thinking. Following the principles of the maker movement, we empower children to learn to make their ideas reality. If a child asks if we can do something in their project for them, we instead teach them how to do it themselves. From video games to servers, kids get to make awesome things that they can be proud of – and they learn transferable skills that will help them throughout their lives

Makerkids is a place where kids can feel at home and embrace STEM concepts, all while making friends and tinkering for fun!

  1. http://www.post-gazette.com/news/education/2009/02/10/STEM-education-is-branching-out/stories/200902100165?pgpageversion=pgevoke
  1. http://www.winonadailynews.com/news/local/ramaley-coined-stem-term-now-used-nationwide/article_457afe3e-0db3-11e1-abe0-001cc4c03286.html
  2. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/vince-bertram/stem-of-steam-were-missin_b_5031895.html
  3. http://naturalstart.org/feature-stories/engaging-children-stem-education-early
  4. http://ecrp.uiuc.edu/beyond/seed/katz.html
  5. http://www.letstalkscience.ca/images/Science_Learning_Booklet_web_version.pdf