It seems like most education programs are incorporating STEM into their curriculums, but what exactly is it? In a nutshell, STEM helps untangle problems and challenges using the principles of math and science.
The term “STEM” was coined by Dr. Judith Ramaley, a former assistant director of the National Science Foundation’s education and human resources division. STEM was originally labelled SMET but later changed so that “science and math served as bookends for technology and engineering.” (1)
Fast forward to 2017 and STEM is a mainstream education concept. In a blog post for huffingtonpost.com (3), Vince Bertram, President and CEO of Project Lead The Way, Inc. said that “STEM fields are at the core of everything we do. STEM connects to everything, whether it is the arts, music, sports or agriculture.”
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 and almost 75 percent of new jobs between 2009 and 2018 will be in high-skill occupations. (6)
- Most young children love science projects, but “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)
- It adds structure to a child’s natural curiosity. (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. As stated on our website, 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!