Step Up Your Kids’ STEM Skills
(NAPS)—A sound STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education can be a good way for many students today to plan and prepare for great careers tomorrow.
Numbers To Know
Consider these stats and facts:
1. In the last 10 years, 3 million American jobs have gone unfilled due to a lack of basic STEM skills.
2. Between 2017 and 2027, the number of STEM jobs will grow 13 percent, compared to 9 percent for non-STEM jobs—with positions in computing, engineering, and advanced manufacturing leading the way.
3. Out of 100 STEM occupations, 93 percent had wages above the national average. The national average for STEM job annual salaries is $87,570, while the national average for non-STEM occupations sits at roughly half—$45,700.
Fortunately, parents, teachers and others have some handy ways to help kids get into STEM subjects and get out of them what they need.
What Parents Can Do
For example, parents can make STEM a part of everyday life. Here’s how:
• Cooking can be a delicious way to teach about math, chemistry and botany.
• Take your kids to the bank with you and explain what’s been called the “magic of compound interest.”
• At the supermarket, show your kids how to do calculations and estimates and point out the fractions, prices and percentages.
• While enjoying sports, demonstrate all the math and physics involved in playing and scoring in a game.
• Take your kids on trips to science museums and zoos.
• Watch science and technology shows on TV.
• Play with STEM toys and games—electronics, blocks, paper dolls—with your kids.
What Schools Can Do
Many teachers are turning to a cutting-edge, digital, K–8 resource designed to engage kids and bring STEM to life. Called Discovery Education STEM Connect, this resource is built on a 4C (critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity) framework that uses relatable scenarios to connect students to real-world challenges. With each unit, students gain valuable critical-thinking and solution-seeking skills for life.
The challenges posed to students progress from grades K–8. Younger students are faced with more personal, local issues. Middle school students are pushed to solve more complex, global challenges. Students are also asked to personalize solutions to fit community and local needs.
Discovery Education STEM Connect’s Career Connections provide students with opportunities to learn about diverse STEM careers in context and connect the skills they are using to real work happening around the world. Discovery Education STEM Connect also develops and strengthens literacy skills through informational reading passages infused with fictional stories and characters.
“Discovery Education STEM Connect empowers my students to become ‘solution seekers’ engaged in solving important real-world challenges,” explained Frances Snyder, a Florida public school teacher. “This resource’s relevance, as well as its ability to support students as they develop the important skills they need to reach their fullest potential, makes it the ideal interdisciplinary STEM resource for today’s classrooms.”
For more information about Discovery Education STEM Connect, call (800) 323-9084 or visit www.discoveryeducation.com.