There is considerable concern regarding a future where industries around the world will face shortage of high quality science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workers to meet the demands of the labor market. This is definitely a point of concern, especially since robots, AIs and chips would be running the future generation.
Leaving aside getting a job, even for a student of today, citizen of tomorrow to even comment on issues around them like what kind of robots should be employed at their office or home or what would be the impact of carbon foodprint or what technology should be applied to make their work done most efficiently, they must be aware of science and technology.
It is important to invest in STEM education to ensure a future talent pipeline, it’s just as important to have a scientifically-literate population to understand why we need to do so. – Ron Mobed, CEO Elseveir
One day we’re going to look back and whatever this era will get called, it’s going to put a premium on math and science. We should prepare our future workforce differently. – Ginni Rometty, CEO, IBM
Why is this happening ?
Currently Science learning is more of mugging up and boring with less focus on understanding it with appropriate reasoning and facts.
Would like to share a small story from Einstein’s life…..
While Einstein was in Boston, staying at the Hotel Copley Plaza, he was given a copy of Edison’s questionnaire to see whether he could answer the questions. As soon as he read the question: “What is the speed of sound?” he said: “I don’t know. I don’t burden my memory with such facts that I can easily find in any textbook.”
“The value of an education in a college is not the learning of many facts but the training of the mind to think something that cannot be learned from textbooks.”
– Einstein: His Life and Times” by Philipp Frank.
Why should a parent focus on STEM education, when Kids are not interested in it?
Learning science is not only about becoming a scientist or engineer, but it’s about understanding the universe in which you live much better. It’s about making a kid learn the basics of science that happen in day to day life. So that they would be able to understand and perform tasks around them better. STEM education is about inculcating a spirit of experimenting and evaluating information gathered objectively.
Example for some science that happens around us, which we never noticed:
What makes popcorn pop?
A popcorn kernel is actually a seed. At its center is a tiny plant embryo, a life form in its earliest phase. The embryo is surrounded by soft, starchy material that contains water. Surrounding the embryo is a hard shell. When the kernel is heated to about 400 degrees Fahrenheit, the water turns to steam. The pressure from the steam causes the kernel’s shell to explode and the starch to spill out.
What makes milk to curd ?
In a glass of milk, complexes of casein proteins in the form of micelles floats around. These complexes have negative charge, so they repel each other. When we add to it curd inoculum you are introducing loads of Lactobacillus strain of Bacteria which will make milk acidic. This causes the casein complexes to change shape and also alter their charge. As a result, instead of repelling each other, the casein complexes coagulate, or come together. As they coagulate, they capture fat and lactose along the way and get combined into a larger and larger solid, which we see as curd.
We want to get kids excited about science for their whole lives – Bill Nye, CEO of the Planetary Society
What parents can do ?
School many a times fail to instill in children a lifelong interest in STEM subjects. However, for parents, there are lot of easy ways to foster a greater love for learning STEM subjects. In addition to assisting them in their homework, parents can easily engage kids in doing every day science, without forcing them.
If we notice, children are very inquisitive and love to ask questions in their young age. Many a times it’s parents who kill their inquisitive nature by sending them away. Instead if each of their question is answered by working with them, explaining them the facts, their inquisitive nature will remain alive. Use books, apps, library, videos, and other resources, to find out more about a topic. Help them read and discover more. Learn along.
Food science is the best science—experiments you can eat! . Kids can learn chemistry, improve their math skills, understand states of matter, and learn plant and animal biology from the comfort of kitchen.
DIY Fun Experiments are the best way to get children’s interest and attention and also it’s a great way for the whole family to bond and spend time together. Most of the stuff needed are either available in kitchen or nearby stores. There are many websites loaded with these kind of experiments or could even download our e-book Naked egg and Vanishing color.
Next time you bring them a toy, bring them a STEM toy. Amazon offers more than 550 STEM toys for all ages.
Finally just go out and explore the world around with them. Doing garden, hiking, visiting museums, space stations encourage students creativity and problem solving ability. If you head to the park, consider teaching children about force (when using the swings) or plants (showing different types of plants or even planting one together).
The world currently is run by STEM experts from 90s, and millennium guys. Let’s not stop the pace at which science and technology grows. And also let’s help our kids to grow into inquisitive, creative and innovative individuals.