The National Science Foundation published a vision for STEM in May 2020. It envisaged science, technology, engineering, and mathematics ‘driving new innovations across disciplines’ by ‘making use of computational power to accelerate discoveries’. We have passed the stage of debating why STEM education is important. We should rather be asking how we sell this to our kids?
Make STEM Education Fascinating
Our kids are hooked to their smartphones by virtual cords. We adults have little idea how vast their networked metaverse is. They are using technology to create worlds they manipulate by pressing buttons at the speed of light. They are doing technology before our eyes, but is this STEM education in a strict sense?
It’s educational in the sense they are letting machines do the computational work for them. This aligns with the National Science Foundation’s belief we must instil creativity, innovation, and passion for STEM from an early age.
However, back in the spring of 2020 they feared Americans were far from this goal. Many graduate students, they believed ‘were entering the workforce without a basic
grasp of STEM facts and approaches’. Given the lack of dramatic progress since then, it is probably reasonable to assume not much has changed, and also in our own country too.
Should We Be Worried? Why is Stem Education So Important?
If we are to believe the Fifth Industrial Revolution is upon us, then we ought to take Oxford Economics seriously. They see that latest phase in human evolution as the point where humans and technology meet, by each doing what they do best.
But how should STEM education guide us to that goal? We are not doing awfully well at making it alive for kids, although there are of course centres of excellence where there is progress. We need to scratch our heads and rethink aspects of the process.
We need to uplift science, technology, engineering, and mathematics from textbooks, and computer screens. We have to make it as exciting for school kids as the images on their smartphones. For if we do not, then they will continue to be theoretical constructs, we half-hammer into their minds.
How Should Humans and Technology Meet in Class?
We must learn to use the computational power of machines to introduce STEM education topics in ways school kids embrace willingly. And allow them to explore in ways they remember, rather than begin to forget as they leave class.
For as Benjamin Franklin said ‘Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn’. Albert Einstein must have agreed when he pronounced ‘Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school’. Let us ensure our educational experiences are alive enough to at least plant seeds that become trees.
3DG8 contributed this article in the interest of STEM education. And moving young minds forward by bringing quality, yet affordable technology to every school, home, or business. They are achieving remarkable success with lilM8 that brings STEM education to life. Support the lilM8 on Kickstarter today.