Contemporary needs of the world require it to adopt several scientific and technological innovations. To meet the demands of the education sector, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) is emerging as the new emerging solution to futuristic education. Amongst academically rich nations of the world, India is also on the cusp of STEM revolution to meet the growing demand for science & technology skills.
STEM is an acronym term addressed for education policy and curriculum choices in schools. Interdisciplinary fields such as astrophysics, biochemistry, computer science, robotics, nanotechnology, neurobiology, and many others are based on a solid foundation in STEM subjects.
The target of STEM Education is to create a lasting interest and encourage students to pursue a career in this challenging field. Interactive learning concepts based on interdisciplinary approaches and project-based modules facilitate creative thinking and collaborative learning. The program also highlights the challenges faced by students due to lack of a skilled number of teachers to teach these subjects.
The scope of STEM subjects
STEM offers a huge and exciting chance for students to tackle problems by mastering in these four subjects and their sub-categories. The solutions through STEM education include developing new drug delivery methods, finding means to tackle global warming and many more. These subjects are vital for development as they fuel the innovation power of the generation.
STEM-based education opens up myriad streams of jobs in different industries.
According to UNCTAD’s Technology and Innovation Report 2018 released in May this year, of the total number of students getting bachelor’s degrees in science, technology, engineering and maths or (STEM) subjects worldwide, 29.2 per cent were from India. In fact, India has a humongous young population of about 600 million. If a part of this population with interest in STEM can be trained for the curriculum, we can have an enviable workforce that could fuel the growth of many economies apart from India. This explains the reason for USA relying heavily upon foreigners, including Indians,
to fill its technology workforce needs.
Today, every agile country emphasizes STEM education to improve their competitiveness in science and technology development.
Why should STEM subjects be encouraged?
Today the modern world is driven by such scientific and technological innovation as internet, computer, jet engine, light bulb, television and telephone and many more. These subjects have the power to propel economy into a quantum leap of development.
Modern teaching techniques and methodology have undergone a sea change today and doing-by-learning methods are acclaimed than merely theoretical studies. This is where STEM education comes into picture.
There is a need for students to a STEM-based curriculum that will benefit future generations. Trained and skilled people are needed to fill the void in technical fields. Children who pursue the STEM courses are at a greater advantage vis-a-vis job availability and road to success. According to studies, there will be a substantial increase in jobs and salaries in STEM-related fields within the next decade across the globe.
Studying these subjects help them in developing strong critical thinking and problem-solving skills, that will help in creating vast opportunities in their career.
Global market economy will gain a lot from embracing the benefits of science and technology. STEM curriculum will help the students in gaining real world applications of science and technology. But the current curriculum in colleges are not totally focused towards STEM subjects. Current curriculum hardly inculcates scientific temperament in students. Students need to be encouraged to learn through STEM topics, yet the subject material needs to be presented in a very enthusiastic and interactive manner. Next generation of innovators will be created from this pool of students. Globally also, there is a need for developing future, cutting-edge, technological advancements.
Actions to promote STEM
Nowadays, schools, colleges, universities, as well as Government and NGOs, are taking steps to incorporate activities that would encourage critical thinking and inculcate scientific temperament in students.
The contemporary school system in India is leaning towards emphasizing STEM curriculum in their school syllabi itself. From kindergarten to senior secondary, teaching modules are being woven into the system to make the child more adjusted to real life situation. However, these efforts need to be on a large scale for mass adoption and significant impact.
Notable to mention, some workgroups have also been created to help children learn the art of collaboration in these fields rather than working individually. These specialized schools have an innovative curriculum that simulates real-life situations to make the students more attuned to adulthood. Special emphasis is given to cultivate essential social skills. It effectively binds both. people and ideas into an indelible bond.
The government of India has also taken measures to integrate STEM learning into the National Education Policy. The aim of this endeavour is to create a world where young people are encouraged to celebrate fun and excitement of science and technology. The policy is aimed to encourage, develop and implement exciting, mentor-based programs that inculcate interest towards science and technology in the minds of young people, inspiring them to meet the challenges of the global, technology-driven society through innovation, collaboration, and creative problem-solving.
Early inspiration in science and technology will create appropriate motivation in choosing career paths of tomorrow and become technology leaders. Some of the ambitious programs of the Government include Atal Tinkering Lab Solutions to create a scientific temperament in students. This is an initiative under the Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) at NITI Aayog with the prime objective to foster curiosity, creativity, and imagination in young minds.
The Government of India has also been organizing India’s Largest Robotics Competition with legacy of more than one decade. This is jointly organised with National Council of Science Museums, Ministry of Culture and supported by Department of Science & Technology. It is organized for different age groups of children- between age group 9 to 25 years and age group 17 to 25 years. Guided by adult coaches, kids in team of 3-6 members are encouraged to explore real-world problems such as food safety, recycling, energy, etc., with relevant field visits & research. Many competitions like constructing a simple motorized model using LEGO elements are used to display their learning and creativity.
To sustain innovation in globalization, supporting STEM curriculum is important. It is crucial for future innovation as it can help lead to solutions to global challenges such as cancer, global warming, hunger, and many more. Sharda University supports this global initiative by lining all its programmes with the vision of bolstering India in the science and technology realm.