What is STEM?
The STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in these specific streams in an interdisciplinary, applied approach. Instead of teaching these disciplines separately, STEM integrates these disciplines into an interconnected learning pattern along with real-life applications. This education stream creates critical-thinkers, problem-solvers and next-generation innovators. India is one of the top producers of scientists and engineers. Due to this, the STEM education in India has seen tremendous growth in the last few years.
What is the importance of STEM?
According to a report by STEMconnector by 2018, the need for workers in STEM-related jobs would be an estimated 8.65 million across the globe. Nearly 80% of the jobs that will be created in the next decade would require a skill in Science and Mathematics. Despite having the skill, the exam focused education model has limited the Indian students when it comes to innovation, problem solving and creativity. This is where STEM plays its part and fills in the talent-gap.
According to the Labour Statistics Report, the bulk of STEM careers would be
- Computing- 71 per cent
- Traditional Engineering- 16 per cent
- Physical Sciences- 7 per cent
- Life Sciences- 4 per cent
- Mathematics- 2 per cent
STEM jobs do not necessarily require or even a college degree. Less than half of entry-level STEM jobs require higher education or bachelor’s degree. However, a four-year degree would in-turn be helpful for a higher salary.
Why the increasing demand?
As mentioned above, the need for STEM level jobs are increasing and the situation worldwide is such that the number of STEM jobs is growing at a fast pace, surpassing the number of STEM graduates.
Research has shown that children develop an interest in the STEM at an average age of eight. This is because of the fact that they are fascinated by technology, gadgets and various other devices. However, the transition from being a user of technology to an innovator rarely takes place, if at all, is a very slow process. The link between engineering-technology-entrepreneurial development is clearly missing in India. It is important that the schools are provided with the necessary resources and tools to build the craze for STEM into their curriculum and making it fun, inspiring the next-gen. STEM educators are focusing on innovative techniques to ensure that children are more inclined and interested in the DIY method.
How is STEM taking shape in India?
The career, though in its inception is bringing a lot of innovation in the Indian education sector.The innovation taking place with regard to STEM is as follows (As reported by TOI)
- The education sector is looking beyond smart classrooms towards hands-on learning and STEM enhancement on their current information and communications technology and smart class platforms.
- Many STEM companies are working with schools to help them set up STEM centres, tinkering labs with upcoming technologies like Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality.
- The government is looking to help educational institutions to upgrade their library infrastructures with more engaging learning assets and management tools, and implementing Learning Management Systems, assessment systems, language labs, library management system, gamification, etc.
- New ‘entry level’ coding devices are coming to market that provides schools with the ability to teach simple coding and bring STEM to life in the classroom