The STEM program is an educational program based on uniting four subjects: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Instead of teaching students these subjects as discrete, STEM bonds them in one curriculum. With this interdisciplinary approach, undergraduates can connect knowledge in four various subjects, become wider specialists, and improve study skills in topics they like less. It might seem that for elementary school these aspects are too advanced. However, in primary school, with the help of the STEM program, children develop interest and curiosity in these fundamental subjects and learn to increase their capacities in the studying process. According to the United States Department of Education (2017), STEM education is fundamental in providing equitable educational opportunities so that all students are prepared to succeed in college, careers, and life. The STEM program is an essential part of a primary school agenda as it develops their inquisitiveness, upgrades their skills, and helps to understand the fields of interest better.
Raising the interest of undergraduates is a significant part of learning experiences that influences students’ subsequent academic results. Creating a proper studying environment for primary school children is a major part of a positive attitude to learning. From the first grade, students shape a psychological view of the process of learning that should be positive in the interest of both teachers and parents. Engaging pupils in academic activity, teachers develop their interest and curiosity in following subjects that, consequently, improve their achievements. For instance, the meta-analysis by Siregar et al. (2020) shows a statistically significant positive effect for the STEM programs on students’ mathematic outcomes. Therefore, developing the high interest of primary school students in this interdisciplinary approach can increase their results.
Inquisitiveness is also a key factor to students’ successful and happy careers. Every society is concerned about having a significant number of hardworking, attracted, and highly skilled specialists. Increasing productiveness can lead to the strengthening of the economy of the country and can put a positive impact on the level of citizens’ lives. With involvement in the future profession, undergraduates can get an important number of skills to become up-to-date professionals. The STEM program prepares wide specialists needed in various fields according to the modern demands of society. Hobbs et al. (2017) claim that “the current STEM education agenda is driven by the belief that STEM skills are crucial to innovation and development in our contemporary economy” (p. 133). Hence, the enlarged level of specialists engaged in their spheres can strengthen the economy and lead students to a realization of personal potential in their profession and career.
STEM learning makes students more focused on the studying process, develop their critical thinking and problem-solving. Attention focus is a major issue for elementary school students. According to Xu et al. (2018), among US children and adolescents the estimated prevalence of diagnosed attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) increased significantly between 1997-1998 and 2015-2016. These numbers can also testify about a better level of diagnosing the disorder, however, ADHD will always follow a certain number of pupils in primary schools. Not only medications can help increase the focus of undergraduates on learning experiences, but, in addition, a better program of education. With STEM learning all kinds of activities are involved in the studying method that helps engage a child in it.
What about critical thinking and problem solving, the STEM program allows students to solve issues that have multiple decisions. Creating an atmosphere of no fear to be wrong, children feel free and confident in making their personal decisions. Developing that skill, they learn to be fast and efficient at work while making various assessments. Critical thinking is an essential feature of a leader who can analyze several issues parallelly and create a profitable decision for the company. Qualitative analysis of the interviews confirmed that students valued STEM disciplines, the development of their cognitive skills, and the connections they made between STEM fields, schoolwork, and daily life (Baran et al., 2018). Thus, during education, students develop logical thinking and decision-making that will help them present high efficiency at future work.
STEM agenda also helps to understand the field of interest of each student better by implementing several programs and applications. Plenty of students doubt about their future education as within school program they cannot experience the reality of various professions. However, the STEM program gives several opportunities to children to understand the details of a profession better. For instance, some private companies are interested in sponsoring STEM programs to help talented and interested students develop their skills in possible future work. As an example, Verizon sponsored a STEM summer camp in 2017 during which students could explore engineering habits and principles, and computer science application development fundamentals (Ross et al., 2018). By involving students in practice curriculums, STEM helps them to realize their feeling about various professions.
By engaging students in practice classes, the program creates a stratum of society that is confident in the realization of personal qualities in the future profession. By helping every graduate shorten the time of job search and self-realization, society can get a significant number of qualified employees faster. As a result, the productivity of the population rises, and the efficiency of working people tends to grow. Both of the results increase the economic indicators that give a positive impact on the development of the country and its quality of life. According to Stehle & Peters-Burton (2019), students need more training on incorporating 21st-century skills and more practice to build up to higher levels. Instead of losing time on engagement in professional details after graduations, students have an opportunity to practice the work specialties during their studies. Along with communication with professionals in every field, they get a better perception of the job and get a chance to decide for the future profession faster.
To conclude, the STEM program is an essential part of the primary school curriculum as it encourages students to the learning process and increases their involvement in education. As a result, the society receives interested and engaged in work number of people that can show efficient results and develop the country. The program also improves children’s skills, helps them to realize their talent, and chose a profession. By achieving goals, the young generation can become successful and confident in their work, be precise, efficient, and become well-deserved leaders of companies one day. These results will lead to economic growth and flourishing, increase the level of life of the population.
The STEM program improves both students and teachers by giving them a variety of ways to integrate in studying process. Upgrading the academic results will always be needed in society as modern life constantly grows and changes. Implementing innovative technologies, educating teachers on the up-to-date directions of education can keep this process interesting to children. The motivation to improve cognitive skills moves society forward, and that is the key to constant development and good achievements of the new generation.
Baran, E., Bilici, S. C., Mesutoglu, C., & Ocak, C. (2018). The impact of an out-of-school STEM education program on students’ attitudes towards STEM and STEM careers. School Science and Mathematics, 119(4), 223-235.
Hobbs L., Clark J.C., & Plant B. (2018). Successful students – STEM program: Teacher learning through a multifaceted vision for STEM education. (R. Jorgensen, K. Larkin, Eds). STEM Education in the Junior Secondary. Springer, Singapore.
Ross, M. S., Fletcher, T. L., Thamotharan, V., & Garcia, A. (2018). I lead, therefore I am: The impact of student-mentor leadership opportunities on STEM identity development and sustainability. 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition. Salt Lake City, Utah. Web.
Siregar, N. C., Rosli, R., Maat, S. M., & Capraro, M. M. (2020). The effect of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) program on students’ achievement in mathematics: A meta-analysis. International Electronic Journal of Mathematics Education, 15(1), em0549.
Stehle, S. M., & Peters-Burton, E. E. (2019). Developing student 21st century skills in selected exemplary inclusive STEM high schools. International Journal of STEM Education, 6(39), 1-15.
United States Department of Education. (2017). Resources for STEM education.
Xu, G., Strathearn, L., Liu, B., Yang, B., & Bao, W. (2018). Twenty-Year trends in diagnosed attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder among US children and adolescents, 1997-2016. JAMA Network Open, 1(4), e181471. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.1471