STEM jobs are the future of our economy. To set up our children for success, we need to teach them about science, technology, engineering, and math at a young age.
While many schools have prioritized math and science courses for decades, it’s not so common to see an emphasis on engineering or technology. Although math and science are important elements of STEM learning, you need more than those two elements to create a standout STEM curriculum.
What Is a STEM Curriculum?
STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. It includes much more than just traditional science projects and math test scores. An important aspect of teaching a STEM curriculum is helping students get hands-on practice solving real-world problems.
In a middle or elementary school STEM curriculum, kids are often encouraged to explore engineering, technology, and even medical applications through exciting activities and lessons that will prepare them for the workforce of the future.
Why STEM Curriculum Needs to Go Beyond Math and Science
Math and science are important elements of STEM, but they shouldn’t make up the entire STEM curriculum. Adding in engineering problem-solving, coding, and other activities helps students acquire a well-rounded education and see why their education matters.
STEM studies encourage innovation, literacy, and creative and critical thinking. A hands-on approach to learning allows students to explore their education in-depth and think outside of the box.
How to Develop a Holistic STEM Curriculum
Developing a holistic STEM curriculum means more than just helping a child learn how to 3D print something or write code. It’s about teaching them meaningful learning and problem-solving techniques that they can use to better contribute to society later on.
Below are just a few ways teachers can develop strong STEM curriculums for their classrooms:
Include Hands-on Engineering Activities
Students of all ages can have a hard time focusing during school, especially when course information gets dense. Using hands-on activities is crucial to engaging students, whether you are teaching in person or in a remote learning environment.
Introduce Students to Coding
Coding is one of the most useful tools in today’s workforce. It also helps students learn valuable, widely applicable skills like problem-solving, computational thinking, and troubleshooting. We believe every kid should get a chance to try coding — it may change their lives!
Teach Digital Literacy and Citizenship
Digital literacy, or the ability to use technologies to find, evaluate, create, and communicate information, is a key component of every STEM curriculum. Students need to learn how to use the internet safely and effectively. A digital literacy curriculum should help students understand how to avoid plagiarism, protect their personal information, and so much more.
Demonstrate Real-World Applications
One of the most important things for STEM educators to show their students is the connections between the lessons they’re teaching and real-life challenges. This can be done through storytelling or activities that directly show how their schoolwork connects to their real lives outside of the classroom.
Show Diverse STEM Role Models
Students are far more likely to believe they can be successful scientists or medical professionals if they are exposed to role models who look like them. Teaching students about a wide range of historical STEM leaders and telling STEM-related stories that have protagonists with different genders, socioeconomic backgrounds, races, cultures, abilities, and so on can help students truly believe in themselves and make their dreams a reality.
Consider Ed Tech Supplements and Modules
As mentioned earlier, using ed-tech supplements and modules in a STEM curriculum can make it much easier for teachers to create a valuable, engaging learning experience. Yeti Academy’s online modules come with slideshow presentations, lesson plans, activities, games, projects, quizzes, tests, and much more to help students learn about a variety of STEM subjects.
Try Yeti Academy’s STEM Curriculum Today!
Yeti Academy is the ideal solution for busy STEM teachers looking to create meaningful learning experiences. Our effective, easy-to-use STEM curriculum comes with fun activities and lessons that are perfect for any size or type of classroom.
Sign up for free to check out our complete digital curriculum. See how Yeti can improve your STEM program!