- STEM has real world application
- STEM fosters problem-solving skills
- STEM is hands-on instruction
- STEM is differentiated instruction
- STEM promotes cooperative learning
- STEM teaches creativity
- STEM makes failure a learning opportunity
- STEM involves high-level thinking
- STEM requires students to be actively engaged
- STEM is the future
- Petroleum Engineering
- Actuarial Mathematics
- Nuclear Engineering
- Chemical Engineering
- Electronics and Communication Engineering
That also means that a S.T.E.M.-based major will allow a person to pay off college loans faster than any other field. With the rising cost of college education and the burdensome ongoing expense of financing that education, a S.T.E.M. major is a logical and practical option.
When we also consider that S.T.E.M.-related jobs are predicted to experience more than a 60% growth in the next ten years, we see that teaching S.T.E.M. is indeed teaching for their future instead of for our past.
And teaching for the future will not even guarantee that students will have everything they need to land in a career. Who foresaw the growth in the field of drone technology ten years ago? Tomorrow’s job seeker will not only need to have a firm grasp on the latest technology, they must be flexible and adaptable to new environments. Problem-based learning promotes this characteristic.
Today I am beginning to see the fruit of this new approach to instruction. When I teach my digital photography elective, when my colleague takes on the task of teaching coding, when I utilize new software and technology in my teaching approach, it is often my students who become the experts and consultants. When someone raises their hand with an issue, I’m often calling upon one of my young experts to solve the problem.I’m no longer the sage with the content knowledge; I’m a director of a project. I keep the team focused on the goal and ensure that they work cooperatively. As often as not, I’m learning with them about a world that lies ahead – aworld they will enter and conquer. In the process, they will leave me far behind, and I’m okay with that because my ultimate goal is to create learners that are independent from me.
And one final note:For me there is an eleventh reason to teach S.T.E.M. curriculum that Wiggins never mentioned. Though I have enough years in the classroom to retire at any time, I am more excited than ever to go to work each day. I cannot imagine how retirement could be any better than what I am doing now. The excitement my students show each day rivals that look on my son’s face when he learned to walk so long ago.Being a part of that process with my students, watching their first tottering steps, seeing their smiles, lifting them back up when they fall, and witnessing their successful steps as they walk away makes this more than a job and even more than a career. I get to be part of a great adventure everyday. I’m planting synapses in adolescent brains, and the harvest is bountiful!