- STEM Education May 27, 2020
STEM education in India is the much-needed revolution in the education industry that has the potential to reshape the child’s future. There are two basic methods of learning- Rote Learning & STEM learning The first method of learning is the traditional Rote learning which is based on memorizing the information based on repetition. Common Examples of these include memorizing the multiplication tables, periodic table, etc. Although Rote learning is practiced throughout the country for years the drawback of this type of traditional learning is that the students don’t get a better understanding of the subject. Also, there is no connection between the new and previous knowledge memorized by the student.
According to the Encarta Dictionary, learning is all about acquiring knowledge or skills while memorizing is to save something in the memory. Using the method of Rote learning, many students can score good marks but they can’t apply all the knowledge which they have gained into problem-solving of real-life issues.
Due to this reason, STEM education comes into play which is far better from traditional rote learning. You all must be wondering what is STEM education?
Let’s talk about it in the following paragraph
What is STEM Education?
STEM education is the need of the hour and is a revolutionary step in the education industry. In simple words STEM learning is based on the idea of teaching meaningful skills to the young innovators in the four main domains of – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. STEM education in India is all about learning by doing. With the help of indulging themselves in STEM learning-based activities, many students will get a chance to discover their true potential and they also discover a new method of learning a concept in a fun and interactive manner. It makes students future-ready by teaching them skills that will be in demand in the upcoming years. According to the National Science Foundation, it is a prediction that 80% of future jobs will require the candidates to have some form of STEM skills.
How Important is STEM Education in India?
Even the government understands the importance of STEM education and the value of innovation among young minds thus it has set up the Atal Innovation Mission at NITI Aayog which supports the establishment of Atal Tinkering laboratory in eligible schools across India. This ATL lab consists of various modern innovative tools and equipment like do-it-yourself kits, 3D printer, mechanical & electronics equipment using which students carry out various STEM learning activities that go way beyond their textbook curriculum. For a school to set up the Atal Tinkering lab that school must satisfy some criteria and guidelines set up by NITI Aayog only then the school will be able to set-up the Atal Tinkering Lab.
What are the benefits of STEM education in India?
There are many wonderful benefits offered by STEM education in India some of them are given down below:
- It explains to the students how they can solve real-life problems by using the knowledge which they acquire from STEM learning.
- It teaches various types of useful innovative skills to students such as computational thinking, problem-solving skills, Creative thinking, logical reasoning, better decision making, and good observation power.
- By successfully performing the experimentation the students will build self- confidence among them which will help them a lot in their overall development.
- The students will understand the true value of teamwork when they engage in performing STEM-related activities together. They will also understand the power of team management and collaboration by understanding their individual roles in the team properly.
- The students will understand with ease the subject which they feel difficult to understand through the theoretical means. With the help of learning by doing the student will develop a solid foundation about the concept and will be able to implement it in solving real-life problems.
- STEM education is also beneficial for students who suffer from issues like ADHD (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) who finds it hard to give proper attention. With the help of the STEM learning model, they will be able to perform tasks more easily.
- With the help of STEM-related do-it-yourself activities the students will encourage them to learn more and more and spend most of their time learning and experimenting. It can also spark an interest in STEM-related subjects and the kid might pursue a career in the STEM field in the coming future.
- Science at its core is all about experimenting. With the help of STEM learning, the Kid finds alternative ways of solving a particular problem.
- Technology has been an indispensable part of our society. Our modern society is a technology-focused society. The technology around us is ever-changing and is evolving at a rapid rate. By gaining the STEM education the students will keep them up-to-date about the latest new changes and enhancements which are happening in the field of technology.
- With the help of STEM learning the students will undergo a transformation from an active user of technology to a passive user of the technology. Kids love to interact with gadgets like smartphones, tablets, etc. with the help of STEM learning they will understand the inner workings of these devices too.
- The child will not only learn for the sake of scoring good marks but also will understand the real-life implementations of the concept learned by STEM education. The knowledge acquired via STEM education lasts longer than the knowledge gained by the traditional method of Rote learning.
- STEM education creates a very good learning environment that promotes
hands-on learning experience and helps to evolve the mindset of the student. It enables students to observe and learn at their own pace.
What are some other ways of gaining STEM Education in India?
Apart from schools, STEM education can also be acquired with the help of using STEM toys and STEM learning Apps.
STEM Learning Toys
Unlike traditional toys that turn into the trash after continuous use and don’t teach anything valuable to children, STEM toys are more engaging and impressive. They teach students STEM learning-based skills and also engage them in an interactive fun-learning environment. There is a wide range of STEM toys available in the market for all age groups. These STEM education toys consist of the following types of categories:
- Science Experiment Based on STEM learning toys
These types of STEM education toys are based on scientific experiments and concepts and teach the kids how the concept actually works out in a real-world environment. These toys have many do-it-yourself activities that are based on STEM learning.
- Construction Based STEM learning Toys
These types of STEM education toys are based on the concept of geometry and engineering and involve construction-related activities that help the kid to learn valuable skills like analytical reasoning and planning capabilities.
- Robot Based STEM learning toys
These types of STEM education toys teach the students the techniques of programming and coding skills so that they can control the robot. Also, this type of STEM learning Toys involves the use of advanced techniques of Artificial intelligence and machine learning for performing various types of tasks using the robot. The programming is done with the help of Arduino which is an open-source electronics platform.
Thus, Parents have tons of options to choose the most perfect STEM education toy that will teach them STEM skills in the comfort of your home.
All these kits which we talk about are created with Child-friendly material and come with instruction manuals so that the children will understand everything and enjoy engaging with these STEM toys.
What type of challenges are faced by STEM education in India?
- There is a misconception about STEM education among the educators that it will divert the students from their regular studies and they will not give proper attention to their textbook curriculum in that stipulated amount of time. But this is not true. STEM learning can go hand-in-hand with the academic curriculum and cultivates the young innovators of the future.
- There is no qualification requirement for STEM teachers, thus it is possible that the teacher might not be well-versed in the subject domain which he/she is teaching the students. Thus, hiring highly experienced teachers in their respective domains is the need of the hour.
- The STEM education program mostly starts from middle school which most of the Education Expert believes is too late for getting the student’s attention. According to these experts, the STEM education in India must be introduced from elementary school so that the students will develop a solid foundation of STEM-related subjects.
- The STEM education in India programs is for every student but it is commonly observed that only the naturally motivated and well-prepared students will benefit more from this STEM learning program than the under-performing students. It is the responsibility of teachers to make sure that all the students are on the same level of STEM education. If a student understands a concept at a slow pace then the teacher needs to provide proper guidance to that individual student.
What Type of Other Resources are available for STEM education in India?
Thanks to the Internet here are many free online resources using which you can learn STEM learning as well. A few of these resources are given below:
It is a STEM learning app by Tinkerly which consists of a class-wise curriculum for classes 6th to 10th and is freely available for the students. With the help of this interactive app the students can enhance their educational experience and enrich their classroom & lab experiences. This STEM education app consists of various types of STEM learning activities using which the students will understand the scientific concepts in an easy and interactive manner.
It is one of the most fascinating STEM education youtube channels for kids. They have wonderful and interactive videos that are dedicated to STEM learning topics like robotics, programming, electronics, etc. All the videos give a detailed step-by-step comprehensive knowledge that will help the kids to understand how things work.
With the help of the Tinkerpedia section of this STEM learning app the students will learn about the various uses of electronic components like sensors and actuators in our day-to-day lives. There is also a quiz section based on STEM education that will help to evaluate the knowledge gained by the kid. There are many types of online courses based on modern innovative technology like Artificial Intelligence, IoT(Internet of Things), etc are being conducted on this app. The best thing about this app is if you miss a session of the curse then you can watch the recorded session of the missed course as well.
There are many types of scenario-based challenges also available in this app that will improve your tinkering skills.
This wonderful and interactive Instagram channel shares posts about STEM learning and has 33.1K followers. It also hosts a weekly challenge. All the posts are so engaging that it will make your kid fall in love with STEM education.
So we have discussed the few outstanding resources using which you can learn and improve your STEM learning with ease. It does not matter which internet resources you are using, all that matters is how much you are benefiting from it.
In the entire blog, we talk about the advantages, challenges, online resources of STEM education, and how it is the best and most innovative thing to be pursued by every student. Thus, the right time has come when STEM education must be implemented by each and every school in the country. Our next generation of children is very blessed to be born in this modern 21st century and using gadgets like smartphones, tablets, etc. from an early age. The Usage of these gadgets signifies that our next generation of kids loves to interact with technology and they spend countless hours using it. If we train our students from an early age and implement STEM education in India in school as early as elementary school then we are making the future innovators that will make not only their parents proud but also their entire nation as well by inventing things that will be useful in combating the real-life problems.
Thus, It is the responsibility of parents & teachers to motivate and spread awareness about STEM education in India so that many young minds will benefit from it.
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