What is STEM education?

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School graduates of the 21st century are expected to demonstrate their skills and understanding of processes and phenomena that nobody in the schools of the 20th century thought about. A major challenge for teachers and heads of educational institutions is becoming an organization of classes and the educational process, in which students have all the opportunities to acquire the necessary skills and satisfy their educational needs and the expectations of parents. More and more teachers rely on the STEM approach, the features of which really help to solve many problems. Therefore, you have to know what is STEM education. In Ukraine, in recent years, STEM has gained great popularity, especially in the private sector of education. Sometimes STEM is supplemented and transformed into STEAM and STREAM. But not all the STEM that Stem is called.

How to determine that in school is used really STEM? And what is STEM education? At the lessons on this methodology, the educational process is in priority, and not the show, each next step is clearly understood by the students, laboratory instruments and robotic devices are directly involved in the structure of the lesson. STEM-education is characterized by the following features:

  • Focusing on practical issues and problems. Pupils solve real social, economic, environmental issues through the application of scientific knowledge, technology, engineering and mathematics.
  • Using the engineering design process. This form of work allows students to identify problems and find ways to solve them, creating their own development. Students conduct a preliminary background study, develop several solutions, can produce prototypes, test, analyze and improve development. The result of such activities is their own research ideas and engineering solutions.
  • Involving students in practical and visual research. There is a practical test of theoretical knowledge and assumptions, students develop skills in laboratories and workshops.
  • Productive teamwork. To make a quality product, students should work as a single mechanism, distributing responsibilities among themselves, setting short-term and long-term goals, analyzing intermediate results and improving internal communications. In some places for schoolchildren, this component of the lessons is the most difficult.
  • The use of high-quality sources of information on topics of science and mathematics, as well as work with tasks that provide several solutions.

Sometimes, in pursuit of fashionable trends, the value of training and the achievement of educational goals are lost, therefore, despite the importance of applying academic material within integrated projects, be careful not to fall into the marketing trap.