We’ve been hearing about STEM education for quite some time now. Even though we’ve been talking about STEM for a few years, a poll from 2016 found that only 40% of U.S. schools were offering programming or coding classes. In order to successfully implement a program, educators need to know where to focus their time and attention.
- Understand where STEM began and why it’s important. Typically, STEM begins because one teachers shows another teacher what he or she is doing, and they try it out. It all starts because a teacher sees a program outside of school and exposes teachers or students to it.
- Identify the school’s specific STEM mission. Often, schools jump into STEM due to its popularity. To successfully launch a STEM program, schools need to think through their mission and what they are looking to accomplish.
- Integrate STEM to work with the current curriculum. Instead of only looking outside the district, educators should focus integrating STEM into their current curricula. This will make things easier and less stressful for the teacher.
- Do not give STEM an age requirement. Any age group can learn STEM, you just need the correct tools and activities.
- Use the proper budget to enhance STEM programming. Help educators understand how technology can fit into their program and budget. When just starting out, introduce educators to tools that can be used in multiple classrooms and age groups. This allows the school’s investment to go further.