STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. However, there is much more to it than just the subjects it covers. It builds the foundation for skills that govern the way we think and contribute to the world around us. In developing countries especially, no one can deny the importance of having a career based on this discipline. Not only are the jobs available in plenty, but they are also one of the highest paying ones.
So let’s have a look at why is STEM considered so important and how can someone be a part of it.
- Development of a problem-solving approach:
Science and maths are the foundations of STEM. The science and maths classroom are also places where asking ‘why’ and ‘how’ is encouraged. This allows the development of logical and problem-solving approaches which prove useful in any future work that one might take up.
- Better career prospects:
Career opportunities in this field usually contribute directly to the innovation and development of organizations and economies. Being demanding in terms of their requirements and a limited number of people available, they offer the best in class benefits.
- Chance to change the world:
Expertise in this discipline can be considered as a direct indicator of the financial stability of any economy or nation. No doubt all the developed countries around the world encourage such talent to immigrate to their countries. STEM research is also the source of solutions to the world’s most challenging problems. A recent example is that of the pandemic. In the race for the vaccine, the development of medical technology and infrastructure played a key role in determining who develops it first. The availability of infrastructure and technology also enables the growth of industries in a country, ultimately contributing to their overall development.
How to adopt STEM from an early age?
- Don’t opt out of the so-called hard things:
When the literacy rate was not so high and education was a privilege, a lot of people believed that subjects like mathematics and science are difficult and will not help earn a living in the immediate future. However, with the development of the world, the importance of including maths and science in all stages of learning is growing. Even if you do not pursue a full-time career in STEM, the benefits of learning science and maths from an early age will go a long way in helping make you better equipped for the future.
- Increase your exposure to science and maths:
It is a good practice to explore the concepts beyond the books offered in schools. School textbooks are always prepared from the average student’s viewpoint. Hence they might be limited in the exposure they offer. Explore the many free and open resources available online to get deeper into concepts. They will change your perspective about maths and science and make it more fun and practical for you. Also, take out time to participate in those science fairs and projects. Try to appear for the competitive exams. Even if you don’t succeed in the same, the preparation for the same will help you gather knowledge that you might miss out on otherwise.
Some common myths related to STEM:
- It is only for the really smart ones
Normally, we grow up in a society that exaggerates the difficulty level of science and maths. As a result, a lot of us think it is beyond the scope for average kids. In reality, it is our education system that failed at making kids feel confident about it.
- It is very expensive
It might be true to a certain extent but where there is a will there is a way. Finances should not come in the way of anyone’s education and there are ways out of it. In today’s world, subsidised education, loans and scholarships are available in plenty for the deserving candidates.
- It is not suitable for girls
This is one of the most unfortunate beliefs existing even today. Given the lack of opportunities in the previous society, women represent a very small proportion in the STEM field. Yet, in no way it is a gender-specific field. We have countless women today who are equally excelling in this field to debunk the myth.
To conclude, in order to succeed in this new information-based and highly technological world, everyone needs a strong foundation in STEM education. Without the same, we will be limiting our capacity in making a better world.
Are you an advocate of STEM? Feel free to share your views in the comments section below.