Entering Senior High School was kind of tough for me since this was a phase where a student chose a strand or track that is or can be aligned to the course they wish to pursue in college. Senior High School was full of challenges and new adventures that I have unlocked during my journey. Choosing the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) as my track for Senior High School has been the decision I have not regret.
Now, why choose STEM track?
Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, known as STEM, is a track that prepares students to tackle real-world challenges and improve development of a country by using science, math, engineering, and technology. Careers that are aligned in STEM are growing, and according to the report made by the website STEMconnector.org, by the year 2018, there would be a demand for 8.65 million individuals in STEM-related occupations.
Here are the reasons why an incoming Senior High School student, like you, should pursue the STEM track:
- Enhances one’s problem-solving skills.
During my elementary and junior high school years, problem solving has been my weakness when it comes to Mathematics. Entering this track builds and encourages individual to develop their problem-solving skills. In STEM, learners understand how to analyze problems, then try to rectify and overcome them through STEM activities.
- STEM teaches and strengthen teamwork.
In STEM, there would be many group activities. With these activities, it cannot only strengthen teamwork, but also communication and collaboration skills. The STEM track challenges students to collaborate with others in order to solve problems and provide solutions to others effectively.
- STEM promotes creativity.
When it comes to creativity, STEM is a great pair of this. Creativity leads to new ideas and innovations. The recent advancements that we have today, may it be artificial intelligence or digital learning, would not be achievable without inventiveness and imagination.
- Teaches critical thinking.
In STEM track, it establishes STEM skills, such as critical thinking and logical thought process that can help students to be successful in any work field. Developing critical thinking skills in this track prepare students to analyze, evaluate, and apply processes in problem-solving. Finally, they can become innovators with the help of critical thinking skills.
- Encourages experimentation.
Experimentation has been a big part of STEM track, and our lives. With this, many of the technological advancements we have today would not occur without the presence of experimentation. Many of these breakthroughs were made by people who were informed that their ideas wouldn’t work, and their answer was, “Let’s try it and see.” STEM track, during the K-12 years, help foster this kind of mentality by enabling learners to explore and take risks during learning activities.
- STEM encourages tech use.
In STEM track, it educates students about the importance of technology and innovation. As a result, when students encounter new technology, they will be ready to embrace it rather than experiencing reluctancy. As our world become more tech-centric, this can provide students advantage in the global scene.
- Builds resilience.
Having STEM track in K-12 has been an advantage. The activities in STEM track help students to learn in a safe environment that allows them to build resiliency. Additionally, with STEM education, it emphasizes the significance of failure as a learning exercise and experience, allowing students to accept mistakes as a natural part of the learning process. This also teaches children to develop confidence that allow them to preserve when things get tough. After all, failure is a natural part of the process that leads to success.
- Job demands and opportunities.
Jobs under the STEM track is evolving and growing as time passes by. STEM has interesting jobs under it, and according to Cohen (2022), employment rate in STEM has grown by 79% since 1990, and is expected to grow by 8.8% between the years 2017 and 2029. Additionally, career in STEM industries is always in-demand.
- STEM helps develop project management skills.
Hands-on projects help students to aid in the development of media and technology literacy as well as cognitive abilities. STEM programs teach students how to manage their time and divide complex projects down into manageable parts. These abilities they have acquired will come in handy later in life, both in STEM employment and in their personal lives.
- Promotes a love of learning.
STEM may be full of challenges and can bring headaches; however, it promotes a love of learning by developing a desire to study. It stimulates curiosity, faith in one’s abilities, and a quest for information. In STEM, students will be prepared in facing difficulties of higher education and the real world if they have the capabilities ready in their toolkit.
In conclusion, STEM track may be a tough path to take, but gaining knowledge in this track can bring our hidden abilities and skills to life. The skills that we can acquire under this track can lead to more refined productions, and may lead us to one of the innovators, engineers, doctors, and many more in the world.
Creativity is the secret sauce to science, technology, engineering, and math.Ainissa Ramirez, Science Evangelist