In 2001 the US National Science Foundation introduced the acronym STEM. Since then the name has become hugely important in education, careers, and even politics. Chances are you will have heard it as a parent. But what does STEM stand for in education and school, and is it important?
What does STEM stand for? STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics in an educational context.
STEM-related learning is important in schools and at home, as it provides an opportunity for children to learn about topics and disciplines that will serve them well in later life, particularly for in-demand new job roles.
Whilst the majority of STEM related activities are spoken about in an educational and school-based context, parents also have a large part to play. As parents ourselves we believe it’s important to create opportunities and environments that encourage STEM learning.
That’s why we run a large program of summer camps and term-time courses which offer STEM-related subjects, but in a fun and engaging environment.
What does STEM education mean?
STEM education is available in many schools, but not all of them are able to deliver an effective curriculum and learning environment due to a lack of teaching skills and resources.
In the 2012 report Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education: A Primer (view source), STEM education was defined as:
“Teaching and learning in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. It typically includes educational activities across all grade levels—from pre-school to post-doctorate—in both formal (e.g., classrooms) and informal (e.g., afterschool programs) settings.”
What is the STEM concept in education?
You probably recall being at school yourselves when the teacher taught you something and you questioned how the topic would be relevant to later life.
That’s where the STEM concept is different.
For example, let’s say your child wanted to be a video game designer when they grow up. What do you think would make them more interested in this career path?
It would be things like taking part in a class led by a video game programmer or having hands on experience of developing their own game… both of which are available at the FunTech summer camps (view all courses).
By actually experiencing video game design, your child will have their interest peaked which could lead on to an exciting and fruitful career.
This is the concept of STEM education. It’s all about an exposure to a STEM subject with real-world learning where the child can apply their knowledge to solve real-world problems.
By doing so, they will develop a passion for the subject and then possibly end up having a job in a STEM-related industry.
Why is STEM important?
STEM jobs are growing at a faster rate than non-STEM careers and workers have higher rates of pay than non-STEM educated people.
Children that excel in science, technology, engineering and mathematics are set to play a huge role in the growth of the UK economy and the country’s future.
STEM education encourages critical thinking, improves technological literacy, and leads to the next generation of business leaders and innovators. Children that learn STEM effectively now will be the adults that will lead the innovation to sustain our future economy.
STEM education in schools is critical in developing children’s interests in pursuing these types of jobs. However, our schools and teachers can’t always carry this burden entirely, so it’s important for parents to also encourage learning.
You can do that with extra-curricular activities such as the FunTech camps and home-based learning. Children that learn at our tech camps will always be given projects to take home with them, so the learning doesn’t simply end once they leave us.
How a STEM education can help your child in the future
- Chances to earn more: recent research by the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation found that those in STEM jobs will earn almost twice as much as other jobs.
- Possibilities to experience the world: there are shortages of qualified people in STEM roles around the world. By having a STEM background, your child could be in demand not just in the UK, but in other exciting global locations.
What type of jobs can STEM education lead to?
By encouraging your child to embrace STEM subjects it could lead to them having a rewarding and productive career in industries diverse as engineering, sciences, and technology.
Here’s a breakdown of the type of career possibilities STEM could result in.
- Earth Science
- Environmental Studies
- 3D Printing
- Automotive Technicians
- Computer Science
- Computer Technician
- Construction Technology
- HVAC Specialist
- Information Technology
- Marine Architecture
- Metal Fabrication
- Power Plant Operations
- Video Game Design
- Aerospace Engineering
- Biochemical Engineering
- Biomedical Engineering
- Chemical Engineering
- Civil Engineering
- Computer Engineering
- Electrical Engineering
- Environmental Engineering
- Industrial Engineering
- Manufacturing Engineering
- Materials Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
- Applied Mathematics
- Computer Mathematics
- Maths Education
- Mathematical Modelling
- Risk Management Specialists
What should you do if your school doesn’t have a strong STEM program?
Unfortunately, not all schools have a particularly strong approach to STEM education. Even if your child’s school is one of the better ones, it’s still important to encourage additional learning outside of the curriculum.
At FunTech we run a series of summertime camps for teens as well as classes for children aged 7 to 12. We also run term-time classes and virtual learning of STEM-related subjects.
All of our summer camps and classes are designed with fun at the forefront, underpinned with an expert tutor-led program.
The classes are as diverse as 3D game design, 3D modelling, computer coding, robotics, and touch typing.
Why book a kid’s STEM summer camp with FunTech?
Our summer day camps are ideal for children who want to learn. They are also ideal for parents who want to help their children possibly have a brighter future with a STEM-based summer activity.
When you book with FunTech you benefit from:
- 8:1 pupil / teacher ratio.
- Ofsted registered.
- Childcare vouchers accepted.
- 9am to 5pm times.
- Structured (and fun) learning.
- Over 21 years of experience.
FunTech summer camps are a fun way to keep your child happy and engaged, whist helping them to prepare for a digital future.
We are proud of the results our pupils go on to achieve.
In fact, in 2017, 75% of FunTech students achieved A* and A grades for GCSE Computer Science. That’s way above the national average of 20.6%.