There’s no denying that STEM is a hot topic these days. If you go to any store, you’ll see many playsets geared towards STEM. There’s also evidence to suggest that STEM is more than just something that kids can have fun with, it’s something they can have as a career. Statistics show that between 2017 and 2027, the number of STEM jobs will grow 13%, compared to 9% for non-STEM jobs.
Numbers like those beg the question, are kids ready to tackle that type of job market? Sadly, they might not be. A study by the National Math & Science Initiative shows that only 36% of all high school graduates are ready to take a college-level science course.
To give kids a better chance, teachers can begin to incorporate STEM into the classroom. It doesn’t have to be an extravagant lesson plan. There are simple things that can be done to introduce kids to STEM and ignite the fire.
Let Them Build
If teachers look around their classrooms, they’re bound to find things that can be built to better organize books, papers, and other items. By making this a class project, kids can learn the importance of engineering, measuring, and problem-solving. They will also learn how to work together which is another benefit of STEM programs.
Take a Look at Robotics
Many kids love robots. While they may not be able to build a robot with circuits and all of the moving parts, they can create a prototype in the classroom using cardboard, construction paper, and other supplies. This can lead to them building an actual working robot somewhere in the future.
Use STEM-based language
An easy way to incorporate STEM in the classroom is to use STEM-based language. This can simply mean using words like experiment and model to get kids into the STEM mindset. When they’re used enough, they can become part of the student’s vocabulary and make them want to explore STEM topics more.
Get Kids to Think About Problem-Solving
Many STEM-based projects solve problems. By asking kids what problems they see in the world around them and how they can solve them, they can begin to get on the STEM track. Teachers don’t have to devote an entire lesson to the topic. They can even use a problem that comes up in a book or lesson they are teaching and expand upon it that way. The goal is to just get kids to use their imagination to solve problems.
By incorporating STEM in the classroom, teachers can give students the foundation they need to continue to explore STEM topics. As this happens, the sky’s the limit!