Getting to the Roots of STEM Education
Sparking the love for STEM in children is what Melissa and Lavanya Jawaharlal are all about! Together they dive into why it is cool to be a scientist or an engineer, and how they are inspiring kids to find passion for STEM. In 2017, STEM Center USA co-founders talked about their mission and story during the TEDxCPP annual event. STEM education is not about making engineers and programmers out of everyone. Rather, our focus is on getting kids excited to learn, try new things, and experience hands-on learning. By allowing students to build, design, code, and make mistakes, they are are encouraged to be curious, rather than apprehensive. In our increasingly more tech-dependent society, having a basic, fundamental knowledge on how things work is more vital than ever before.
Why is STEM education meaningful and why is it important regardless of what career path one chooses?
In our increasingly more tech-dependent, consumerist society, having a foundational technology foundation is ever more crucial.
Artist and engineer? Princess and scientist. Musician and mathematician. When people first hear these word pairings, they express confusion. Are these opposite sides of the spectrum? Why must we have to choose? We can do both! Instead of following a binary system, we should encourage our younger generation to do both. Comprehensive learning experiences should ensure students remain open-minded and not feel the pressure to have to fit into one box.
- A basic foundation of how things work - our world is becoming even more tech dependent. However, we've set things up in such a way that only a small percentage of people actually know who things work.
- The dreamer and creators - inspiring the next inventors of our society. We need to develop the next generation of scientist and makers who take our world forward with sustainable design and improve the lives of all those around us.
- The life skills - Critical thinking, creativity, confidence, the design process, attitude, and a lifelong love for learning - no matter what children grow up to become, these skills are transferable. These skills will stay with you no matter what field you go into .
Comprehensive learning experiences
"Forget princess, I want to be an astrophysicist"
STEM education is not meant to make engineers and coders out of everyone. Is it meaningful for students who don't want to pursue a STEM field? Yes! Critical thinking and a confidence in our tech world leads to greater inventions and collaboration amongst teams. We encourage students to design, build, code and make mistakes. We want to encourage students to be curious and develop an I-can-figure-it-out attitude. By experiencing hands-on, fun STEM education, students stop development of or shift their preconceived notions of STEM education.
"Imagine a world where you aren't afraid to try new things and wander into uncharted territories. A world where you know how the technology around you works, not just a small percentage of people. A world where creative solutions and a positive attitude are not just valued, but expected. Let's dream bigger and be better. That's the world we envision."Forget princess, I want to be an astrophysicist"