What is STEM?
“Today, more than ever before, science holds the key to our survival as a planet and our security and prosperity as a nation. It's time we once again put science at the top of our agenda and work to restore America's place as the world leader in science and technology.”
- President Barack Obama
STEM represents the academic and professional fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, of which American students currently are overall falling behind on in relation to the rest of the globe. STEM fields together as a whole is widely considered the core technological foundation of an advanced society, and its strength is viewed not only as the ability of a nation to sustain itself, but also as the motor to keep a nation progressing. Therefore, there is much need for these fields to be given proper weight and serious consideration in our education system. A particular and noteworthy area in STEM emerging with much technological advancement is the field of robotics. Although with potential to be extremely complex in programming and functions, thus producing more possibilities and discoveries, robotics can be learned from a simple and basic level, even at an early age.
What Students Gain?
Students learning robotics will become actively involved in their own learning process. As they develop a fluidity to math and scientific technology, building science intuition, students will become goal-oriented self-thinkers, self-motivators, and find ways to be resourceful and think through problems strategically with logical and analytical reasoning and critical thinking. Moreover, collaborative projects will build and strengthen interpersonal skills, where students can plan and co-construct together, learning to coordinate in a team. All these skills are beneficial to numerous professional areas--not just in the science fields. In other words, these skills can be readily applied and are transferable wherever students go beyond the classroom.
To equip our children and students for the competitive workforce of the 21st century, especially in science technology, which is and will be in great demand, we should strive to give them the opportunity to get a head start, instead of remediating later on. Starting our children and students today on hands-on technology such as robotics early on will lay a foundation that will prepare them to deal with complex technology and issues in the future, regardless of what profession they take on.
Our responsibility is to excite our children’s infinite creativity, imagination, discovery, precious memories of making something of their own with achievement.
-Sir Ken Robinson @ TED-
“Imagination is more important than knowledge.”
“...when you win first place at a science fair, nobody is rushing the field or dumping Gatorade over your head. (Laughter.) But in many ways, our future depends on what happens in those contests -- what happens when a young person is engaged in conducting an experiment, or writing a piece of software, or solving a hard math problem, or designing a new gadget.
It’s in these pursuits that talents are discovered and passions are lit, and the future scientists, engineers, inventors, entrepreneurs are born. That's what’s going to help ensure that we succeed in the next century, that we're leading the world in developing the technologies, businesses and industries of the future.”
- President Barack Obama’s speech at the 2010 White House Science Fair