21st Century STEM Education
The United States has developed as a global leader, in large part through the genius and hard work of its scientists, engineers, and innovators. In a world that’s becoming increasingly complex—where success is driven not only by what you know, but by what you can do with what you know—it’s more important than ever for our youth to be equipped with the knowledge and skills to solve tough problems, gather and evaluate evidence, and make sense of information. These are the types of skills that students learn by studying science, technology, engineering, and math—subjects collectively known as STEM.
This education trend is pushed by leaders around the globe, both in the western world and in developing countries. Educators understand the importance of science and math, and are focusing on engaging students in these subjects from very young age—starting in primary schools.
Ministries of Education are investing in one major task—increasing the number of students majoring in STEM subjects. These students will later choose STEM careers in fields such as engineering, computing, and medicine, which are the key building blocks for any modern economy. It is becoming evidently clear that if there is one educational focus today that can truly bring change to developing nations, it is STEM education.
Yet, few students pursue expertise in STEM fields today. Additionally, there is an inadequate pipeline of teachers skilled in those subjects. That’s why President Obama and many other leaders have set a priority of increasing the number of students and teachers who are proficient in these vital fields.
Our Future Economy
Globalization is posing a major challenge on countries around the world. In the 21st century, a country’s independence is directly related to their economic strength. Focusing on knowledge-based industries is a much safer investment for building a healthy economy.
These industries require innovators, educators, researchers, and leaders who can solve the most pressing challenges facing their nation and the world—both today and tomorrow. But, right now, not enough of our youth have access to quality STEM learning opportunities, and too few students see these disciplines as springboards for their careers.
President Obama has articulated a clear priority for STEM education: Within a decade, American students must “move from the middle to the top of the pack in science and math.”
Countries around the world are all participating in this “technology race to the top,” and Ministries of Education are setting the same goals:
- Increasing the number of students majoring in STEM subjects.
- Engaging kids at very young age to learn science and math.
- Providing schools with modern technologies and content that will both attract the students and help them cope with the abstract concept of science and math.
Empowering Science and Math
Digital laboratories offer a very important tool for science education, allowing students to use technology to perform science experiments. With a powerful, fast, and easy-to-use digital lab, students are able to explore many topics such as photosynthesis, acid-base titration, greenhouse effect, and Newton’s laws, to name just a few. This dramatically increases student understanding of the theoretical and abstract concepts in biology, chemistry, and physics, while developing student learning motivation for these subjects.
Our portable STEM lab, Labdisc, offers the most advanced all-in-one science laboratory, with up to 15 sensors built in a single wireless meter. This convenient tool enables hands-on experimenting in science—a key requirement for students’ understanding of abstract science concepts. The Labdisc replaces more than 20 traditional meters, cables, and individual sensors. What’s more, it saves teachers more than 90 minutes in preparation and equipment calibration before every lab session. The use of such 21st century modern laboratories appeals to students, attracts them to explore science, and motivates them to select science and math as their main focus in school—and future career.
In order to bring awareness to inquiry-based learning and STEM education, we will be hosting the Boxlight STEM Day on December 9, 2016. We’ll be working with low-income and underprivileged schools, providing them with the Labdisc so they can perform simultaneous experiments. Be sure to follow us on Twitter to see updates through the #BLSTEM hashtag as we bring hands-on experiments to schools in the United States and Latin America.
Are you looking to add inquiry-based learning to your curriculum? Visit our website to learn more about our small, convenient Labdisc portable STEM lab.