One of the most lucrative career paths to students continues to be the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) domain. Advances in technology have opened up several new job roles. In addition to perks like higher compensation, recognition, and employee benefits, they also offer a challenging growth trajectory.
Traditional educational techniques, however, are not necessarily suited to nudge children toward STEM careers. The lecture-based, textbook-heavy approach may prove overwhelming for many students. Instead of igniting their curiosity to explore more, it can turn them from STEM careers, leading to several missed vocations.
The key to unlocking interest in STEM careers is introducing them in school classrooms in engaging, interactive ways. Learning by doing nurtures interest. It lays the foundation for teaching problem-solving, collaborative, and critical thinking mindsets. Let’s explore how a superior classroom education can nurture a love for engineering, programming, and computer science – three evergreen STEM career paths.
Love for Engineering
Children love playing with robots. They also love watching films about robots. This fascination for robots also continues into adulthood. Now, imagine children could be exposed to how robots are made in the classroom. They could also learn how to build them from scratch. While robots hold a certain allure, they are also functional objects built to fulfil a purpose. Building robots requires engineering. Hence, introducing children to robotics classes is a natural way to get them excited and invested in engineering.
A robotics class helps them build a strong foundation in subjects and concepts like electrical engineering, mechanisation, and biomimicry. It pushes them to think creatively and be innovative when finding solutions. A well-designed robotics curriculum can ignite a more profound interest in fields like mechanical engineering and nanotechnology, which continue to be in demand in the world of work.
Introducing children to coding gives them a headstart in understanding the potential of the programming function. Children love playing online games due to the element of surprise, treasures, and rewards, which pretty much mirrors their aspirations in real life. So, why not introduce them to games that expose them to the fascinating programming world? These include CodeCombat, MBlock, and CodeMoji, to name a few.
Programming games help children build core skills like critical thinking and collaboration. They nudge children to get creative and build their reflexes, which are important attributes one needs to excel in STEM.
Programming skills also open up many doors. For example, children can participate in hackathons, and competitions, where their skills are recognised. It can also lead to opportunities like internships, cash rewards, and scholarships.
Exposure to Computer Science
Today, computer scientists are in demand more than ever before. They can work in multiple sectors as data scientists, network architects, full-stack developers, cloud computing engineers, software tests, app developers, and research and development (R&D) scientists, to name a few. They can build their products and become tech-preneurs.
Early engagement with computer science exposes children to a wealth of computer science careers. It helps build critical skills such as Math, computer and technology, the ability to identify and diagnose problems, and software development skills.
A robotics and coding curriculum helps build a solid base to pursue computer science education and careers. Today, many schools prioritise exposure to STEM via robust robotics and coding curriculum. By choosing a school that offers robotics and coding, your child can engage in STEM subjects like computer science in a fun, authentic way.
Those pursuing STEM careers today have a bright future ahead of them. They are at the forefront of building products, services, and solutions that solve some of humanity’s most significant problems. Introducing students early on to the potential of STEM as a career path gives them the tools and hands-on experience to make an informed career decision.
Research indicates that early childhood exposure to programming promotes creativity, communication, and collaboration, having a transformative impact on their growth and development. Some virtual schools today have built strong curricula and pedagogy capabilities to nurture the passion and skills for a promising STEM career in students. They also encourage students to collaborate on projects with classmates worldwide and be geared to work in the hybrid workplaces of the future.