CHANGES NEEDED TO ADOPT STEM EDUCATION

ThinkerPlace
4 min readApr 27, 2021

STEM Education is a newly emerging model of teaching that has taken the education sector around the globe by storm. The term refers to the study of its component disciplines: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. This model was created after the essential nature of these subjects was recognized.

There is no area of education or field of work that does not involve these disciplines. Even matters as seemingly unrelated as agriculture or architecture require an understanding of one of the concerned subjects. It hence became necessary to streamline their teaching right from a foundational level. This led to the genesis of the STEM model.

THE NEED FOR CHANGE

Sceptics of the proposed model initially argued that these subjects had always been a part of school and college curriculums, and hence it would bring nothing new to the table. This viewpoint comes from the lack of understanding about what the model indeed preaches. It focuses on not only what is to be taught but how it is to be taught. Though these subjects have always been included in the teaching process, how they are taught is different.

The STEM model proposes that education should be a blend of theoretical and practical training. While this seems like a minor modification, its implications on the structure of education are significant. Under the traditional model, these subjects were taught on a mere theoretical basis and required only books. However, the inclusion of practical training places many demands on the teaching process. To meet these demands, there need to be specific administrative, infrastructural, and personnel changes.

ALLOCATION OF RESOURCES

Education is a crucial aspect of the prosperity and development of a nation. Hence there is a separate fraction of the economy that is directed towards the advancement of this sector. Before the emergence of the STEM model, the resources required for education were elementary. The amounts of funds directed towards such resources were sufficient to cater to them. However, the requirements of the new model were slightly more complex.

To effectively carry out the practical training aspect, there had to be certain modifications made to the typical school and classroom structure. This included the development of laboratories, the establishment of high-end equipment and apparatus, and the procurement of the latest technologies. Without these, the quality of education imparted would suffer. Hence, there is a need to allocate further monetary and other resources towards educational institutions so that they can provide the best possible training to students.

PROVISION OF GRANTS AND FINANCIAL AID FOR STUDENTS

For all the reasons enumerated above, the process of imparting STEM Education is an expensive affair. There is a direct correlation between the costs borne by an institute and the costs required to be paid by students. Applying this principle, it is made pretty obvious that students have to pay colossal amounts of fees to avail themselves of the opportunity to learn under the new model. This is a deterrent for many deserving candidates who are forced to let go of their desire to learn about the areas of STEM.

A viable solution for this is the provision of grants and financial aid for students. This will achieve the dual purpose of helping institutes to recover their costs while alleviating students of the financial strain. The providing of grants may be likened to an investment made in the future of a country since it will provide them returns in the form of a highly qualified workforce. Hence, the model will be adopted once students are encouraged to take up and continue with STEM Education.

INCLUSION OF TECHNOLOGY

The STEM model demands that students be up-to-date with the newest trends and developments in the concerned areas. This is an impossible feat to achieve without the intervention of technology. Books cannot provide the same kind of information that is available on the vast network of the internet.

Hence, there is a need to alter the conventional educational structure that shunned technology as a distraction and embrace it with open arms. Thus, there needs to be an inclusion of it in the teaching structure to achieve the desired outcome of STEM Education effectively.

PERSONNEL CHANGES

Under the standard educational structure, teaching could only be undertaken by the stipulated teachers hired by the institute. Though adequately qualified, these teachers rarely possessed any practical knowledge of STEM areas themselves and could not teach the same to their students. This would have led to a compromise on the quality of education imparted. Hence, the new model requires that professionals actively working in STEM fields also be sought out to teach children about their area of work. This will help children gain a thorough practical understanding of the subjects they are being taught and will allow them to see its real-world implications.

THE ROLE OF THINKER PLACE

We, Thinker Place, are a unique learning initiative. All the changes elaborated above work on an institutional level. However, we believe that STEM education can be imparted from home with equal efficacy and success. We have created novel STEM kits and products that educate children engagingly and enjoyably. Our kits cater to all age groups and have been made so that children themselves can manage to operate them.

To know more about the various kits offered by us, visit: https://thinkerplace.in/

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ThinkerPlace

‘Learn Beyond Books’ is our mantra and we practice it with passion. Thinker Place is a learning initiative for young minds!