STEM occupations are growing much faster than the others and STEM degree holders have a higher income even in non-STEM careers. Science, technology, engineering and mathematics workers play a key role to sustain growth and stability in every region. STEM education nourishes critical thinking, enhances science literacy and fosters innovation among the next generation. All these contribute to the fostering of our new economy.
What is STEM?
STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. STEM is important because it pervades every part of our lives. Science is the way we understand nature. Technology applies scientific knowledge to improve our life. Engineering solves practical problems on the basis that we do not have unlimited resources. Traditionally, engineering involved the design of roads, bridges and buildings that improved our living environments but now it encompasses everything from the challenges of solving environmental problems at home to accomplishing Mars missions into space. Above all, Mathematics is the core for these areas. If we expose kids to STEM activities and allow them to explore in an enjoyable way, they will develop a passion and hopefully pursue a STEM related career.
“In the 21st century, scientific and technological innovations have become increasingly important as we face the benefits and challenges of both globalization and a knowledge-based economy. To succeed in this new information-based and highly technological society, students need to develop their capabilities in STEM to levels much beyond what was considered acceptable in the past.” (National Science Foundation)
How Children Benefit From STEM?
STEM programs like Engineering For Kids use an inquiry-based approach to
- help children build problem solving skills
- encourage children to discover how things work
- increase children’s desire to explore STEM as a career option
- motivate children to learn maths and science concepts by engaging them in real-world engineering problems.
Above all, it will help build and nurture your child’s natural curiosity and love for building and taking things apart as they learn engineering concepts through hands-on learning.
How to Select a STEM Program?
A STEM-based curriculum within real-life context helps the children to develop scientific literacy, critical thinking and innovation. Engineering For Kids designs programs that suit children of different ages. It provides hands-on materials engaging students with fun activities. Courses solving real life problems challenge children and spark their potential and passion for their future career in the STEM field.
Finding a program that offers continuity of learning is vital to cultivating their long-term interest in STEM. Engineering For Kids offers a Junior Level program for children aged 4 to 6. Young students will be introduced to the Engineering Design Process (EDP) with opportunities to explore different fields and be able to link between STEM with fun and engaging work. Next is the Apprentice Level for children aged 7 to 11. In this program students will apply EDP to solve fun and engaging challenges. They will start to recognise STEM as key elements in solving real world problems, and construct authentic, open-ended designs in collaborative small groups. The highest Master Level is for children aged 11 to 14. In the Master Level program students will create collaborative solutions to complex problems. They will need to discuss and evaluate work then explore future questions.
STEMex Ltd is the official provider of Engineering for Kids (EFK) curriculum in Hong Kong. EFK brings science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to kids ages 4 to 14 in a fun and challenging way through after school programs, holiday camps and parties. It inspires learners to build on their natural curiosity by teaching engineering concepts through hands-on learning. Click here to learn more about Engineering for kids curriculum.