Today, the Romanian educational system needs some new challenges and STEM approaches could revive the interest for studying science, technology, math and engineering subjects. We need to make science, technology, math and engineering education more challenging, more playful and above all more imaginative and inspiring for today’s students, the citizens of tomorrow’s world.
STEM is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — in an interdisciplinary and applied approach. Rather than teach the four disciplines as separate and discrete subjects, STEM integrates them into a cohesive learning paradigm based on real-world applications.
What distinguishes STEM model from traditional education is the cohesive learning that shows pupils and students how the scientific method can be applied in everyday life by developing the type of thinking based on the real life application of solutions.
What separates STEM from the traditional science and math education is the blended learning environment and showing students how the scientific method can be applied to everyday life. It teaches students computational thinking and focuses on the real world applications of problem solving [http://www.livescience.com/43296-what-is-stem-education.html].
In high school, education is based on the implementation of subjects leading to a bridge between training and opportunities in the labor market.
STEM is an educational concept that is based on the process of training and the education of pupils and students in four areas: science, technology, engineering and mathematics, using a multi-disciplinary and applied approach. The STEM approach integrates these disciplines into a paradigm for instruction based on real-world applications and it aims to revolutionize the teaching of scientific subjects by introducing technology and engineering in the students’ activity, the problems being solved through discovery, learning and exploratory training.
Given the STEM approaches in Romanian schools, the students’ participation and activities carried out under the research projects (like MASIM, ESTABLISH) benefit from facilitating links between specific concepts of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, enabling a better understanding as well as the immersion of knowledge acquired in the real world.
“Science“ is more than a school subject, or the periodic table, or the properties of waves. It is an approach to the world, a critical way to understand and explore and engage with the world, and then have the capacity to change that world…” said President Barack Obama, in March 23, 2015.
According to The US Department of Education, all young people should be prepared to think deeply and to think well so that they have the chance to become the innovators, educators, researchers, and leaders who can solve the most pressing challenges facing our nation and our world, both today and tomorrow. But, right now, not enough of our youth have access to quality STEM learning opportunities and too few students see these disciplines as springboards for their careers [https://www.ed.gov/stem].
On the other side, the training and education through project-based method may increase medium and long-term results on the quality of education in the area of engineering and IT involved in science, with an exponential increase of students’ motivation in this field.
Article in collaboration with:
“Grigore Moisil” National College, Bucharest