The educational system has prioritized STEM education since the beginning of the decade. Despite the fact that school districts all around the nation have been working for about 20 years to provide a more comprehensive curriculum that covers math, science, technology, engineering, and the arts, access is still an issue. According to research, kids in high-poverty communities have less access to advanced math courses like calculus or physics, as well as fewer scientific textbooks. Similar studies indicate that students with disabilities have limited access. As a result, far fewer impaired students than their non-disabled counterparts finish with a STEM degree. How can STEM and coding skills be available to everyone? question those working in the education sector. Here are some suggestions for bridging the gap:
1. Foster an environment where STEM can flourish
First and foremost, it’s crucial to establish a learning atmosphere in the classroom that supports STEM. What sort of energy is that? According to research, STEM instruction performs best in classes where:
- Involving students is important.
- There is a norm for engaging lessons.
- It is encouraged to be able to learn from mistakes.
- Teamwork is encouraged
There needs to be some level of support from educators for STEM to succeed. Thankfully, data indicates that teachers do support STEM/STEAM education and recognize its cross-curricular character that helps pupils. The appropriate atmosphere must be present to support its implementation before you can assess how accessible STEM is at your school.
2. Encourage early STEM education
What age is too young to begin STEM? Early STEM education is recommended by research. STEM and STEAM skills can be developed by kindergarteners as well. A five-year-old may not be poring over a trigonometry problem or writing computer code, but they can do things like finding the value of x in a mathematical equation, spot patterns, and have a keen interest in all things artistic. Additionally, STEM fosters a child’s innate curiosity. When children are young, that curiosity is frequently at its height. They want to enquire, hunt for hints, and be led to the solutions. Early STEM exposure gives children a basis upon which to build. Additionally, early access increases the likelihood that the curriculum will be followed throughout a child’s schooling.
3. Create a class project focused on coding or STEM
Consider developing a class project with STEM as the focus when constructing a curriculum. You may try 11 fantastic STEM projects from Rasmussen University, such as making a hand crank winch or having children remove oil from water to simulate an oil spill. Students in an Oregon class were challenged to develop an app. They had to determine an app’s requirement as a team, develop, code, test, and present the app to a panel of teachers. Here, the goal is to incorporate STEM lessons in a fun way. These projects’ hands-on approach fosters participation in such a subtle way that children aren’t even aware they are using math, science, technology, engineering, and the arts.
4. Consult a reliable STEM resource
It might be difficult to figure out how to improve access to the STEM curriculum inside a school. As a result, many teachers rely on organizations like HKCC Labs to offer a reputable STEM curriculum that is available to everyone. HKCC has educators with tools, curriculum, and support that make it simple for any teacher in every class to implement coding using app-enabled construction kits. HKCC guarantees that every lesson reaches underrepresented and underserved students in addition to having all the course materials required for each grade level. Every session includes vocabulary exercises for ELLs, for instance. As a result, everyone in the class can participate in the lesson regardless of their level of English proficiency. In contrast to text-heavy instructions that are harder for ELL children to understand, visual instructions offer additional support.
Lessons at schools with limited resources begin with the fundamentals and expand upon them. With this kind of advancement, the playing field is evened out and all students have an accessible entry point. The practical exercises that are included in each session will appeal to disabled students, and they can benefit from the soft skills that are given for each project. The fact that the lesson is visual is also advantageous.
In addition to placing a heavy emphasis on certain courses, a great STEM curriculum aims to foster students’ ability to think critically, solve problems, and work together. Long after they leave the classroom, students will still benefit from these skills. Every employee at HKCC is committed to ensuring that every kid has access to these essential life skills because they believe STEM can help all students reach their full potential.