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Do you know what is STEM education and why is it important?

Updated: Aug 22, 2018

STEM education in Singapore is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).

STEM is generally taught in an interdisciplinary and applied learning manner. Applied learning is an approach that emphasises authentic and practice-oriented learning experiences.

Likewise, according to the Straits Times, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong explained that STEM education in Singapore is important because the skills are crucial to Singapore for the next 50 years: “building greener homes, connecting our waterways and parks and even complex projects like the High-Speed Rail link between Jurong East and Kuala Lumpur, all require expertise and skills in engineering, technology and design”

Similarly, on a recent podcast, Indra Nooyi, CEO of Pepsi, had this to say:

"One of the things that my experience has taught me is that if you are trained as a scientist in your youth - through your high school and college - if you stay with the STEM disciplines, you can learn pretty much all of the subjects as you move along in life. And your scientific disciplines play a very important role, and ground you very well as you move into positions of higher and higher authority, whatever the job is.

Why early STEM education?

What is it about early childhood that helps things “stick”?

Most of us can agree that children are innately curious—in an environment where everything is brand new, how can they not be?

Each and every one of us can probably undergo the same exercise of looking at our interests now as adults, or the areas in which we are skilled and excel, and trace it all back to early childhood memories.

So, we shouldn’t be too shocked when researchers discover a powerful link between STEM and early childhood; and that by learning STEM skills early on, children are better prepared for school and future careers

Thus, they crave exploration and discovery; picking things up, putting things down, asking why; tasting, smelling, and intently watching anything that might wander across their line of sight. Everything is new, everything must be analyzed.

The key is, there must be input for there to be output.

Unless those inquisitive needs are met with things to play with and explore, that unbridled curiosity will either fade or simply won’t reach max levels.

How to introduce STEM to kids?

Well, most of parents do agree that the curriculum in school is not enough to prepare kids enough for the future. In this rapidly technology disruptive scenario, it is more important that as parents we teach our kids about automated machines, robotics, computer sciences , AI etc. There are many educational kits available nowadays that you can purchase and DIY at home. If you are the kind of parent who can spend time and has an inclination to teach this discipline to your children, then this is the best option. Another option is enrolling your child for a STEM course like lego robotics, coding etc, you will find many academies who are introducing this discipline. The demand for these courses is increasing each day and there is a reason for it.

Courtesy: Genius Assembly Team


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