The Importance of STEM Education

The Importance of STEM Education

by Patrick Start
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STEM education. What is it? STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. It is applied to academic fields that use these studies. This type of education implements both hands on and problem based approaches.[1] So why STEM? What is its significance? It is a guide line to help further grow our engineering and innovation industry. It helps students apply these skills both to profession based and everyday problems. With the ever growing technology industry, we need to help individuals recognize the importance of STEM and encourage them to follow this path.

The STEM Education Coalition[2] is a non-profit organization that advocates the importance of STEM education. They raise awareness throughout the United States to schools and other organizations. Scouts Canada[3], the country’s leading youth organization has a STEM program that allows youth to play and experiment with science and technology through a hands-on interactive approach. The programs are collaborations of Scouts Canada, Imperial Oil Foundation and Exxon Mobile Canada. These major energy companies depend heavily on engineers of many kinds.[4]

Major tech companies such as Google, Cisco and Microsoft have made generous contributions to programs in Canada regarding STEM.[5] A major part of these programs is programming and creating software. This will allow future students to be comfortable with modern day technology while it gives them the skill and confidence to create it. As other nations continue to invest in STEM, Canada must also follow suit in order to stay ahead of the times. As a developed country, Canada cannot afford to fall behind in educating our youth about STEM.

Research shows that the majority of STEM participants are male.[6] The University of Waterloo has signed on to the HeForShe campaign[7] which is a gender equality campaign that raises awareness for the equal treatment of women. In part, this campaign hopes to encourage females to join STEM fields. STEM education should be supported by both governments and families. All Children should be encouraged from a young age to engage in science-related activities as we will always depend on engineers and scientists to evolve our technological world.

Footnotes & Resources:

[1] http://www.cslnet.org/our-agenda/what-is-stem/

[2] http://www.stemedcoalition.org/

[3] http://www.scouts.ca/ca/about-scouts-canada

[4] http://talentegg.ca/incubator/2010/11/22/careers-in-the-oil-and-gas-industry-from-start-to-finish/

[5] http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/education/why-tech-giants-are-investing-in-stem-programs-for-students/article21329798/

[6] http://www.forbes.com/sites/work-in-progress/2012/06/20/stem-fields-and-the-gender-gap-where-are-the-women/

[7] http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/education/waterloo-joins-un-program-promoting-women-at-universities/article24250455/

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