Should We Be Pushing STEM Programs to Our Children?
In recent years we have seen some schools shifting their focuses to offering STEM programs to their students. What is STEM you say? Well, it is an acronym standing for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, and has become popular among both parents and educators for its strong ties into “real life” careers and experiences. Because of this, the question that is being raised more and more is: “Should we be pushing STEM programs to our children?”
In my opinion the answer to this question is a resounding “Yes”. This is because there is a real shortage of engineers within the United States, and without the foundations being taught to our children we will continue to see that gap continue to widen if we do not take steps to address the issue.
Many of our great innovations that we have seen in the last half century came form engineers who worked on the space program, or through other STEM related professions that have sadly gone by the wayside here. As a society we need to take steps to turn the tide in our favor, and the time to start doing this is now.
Thankfully, some areas throughout the country are taking steps to address STEM in schools, bringing specialized sites to their districts and giving students an important heads up in this area. Near me, Midland Public Schools in Michigan has taken a huge leap by beginning construction on a STEM based elementary school, which will be open to the public.
This school will end up offering STEM education to 750 students and will feature design elements to enhance learning in the four main areas. These features include concrete floors (so messes can be made), a STEM studio space, a river bed outdoors, and outdoor education areas.
Steps like these are excellent, but they are just a start to get to where we need to be in our education. Parents throughout the United States should be bringing up this topic to their local school board members, and other school officials. Hopefully in the future we will see more STEM schools opening up and helping our children learn the skills that they need to get good-paying jobs in the “real world”.