Solving problems has always been an important component of any business, industry or organisation. I see that educating our students using the philosophy of STEM and the Design Thinking Framework is integral to building their skill sets for the future. What we do in the classroom now more than ever matters in preparing our students for their future aspirations. I believe that STEM careers are a significant part of our future.
Allowing for creativity in new ideas and innovation can produce fantastic outcomes in the classroom, especially when paired with an immersive STEM project. If a solution can be brought forward by a student from a crazy wonderful idea, then future applications can emerge. This is the history of artificial intelligence. Are our students comfortable with taking risks in their learning? How do we encourage them to feel safe to be able to take those risks and to work together with others effectively in the spirit of experimentation?
I believe that when designed well, an immersive STEM project allows for inclusivity in collaborating on ideas and decision making no matter what the skill level of students in groups. STEM education caters for differentiation within groups and the ability for teams to work together to find solutions, develop, implement and reflect on prototypes using the Design Thinking Process. Learning of skills that are applicable in real world situations is a great motivator and students can see a direct relevance between what they are doing and how that applies in various contexts.
Preparing our students for adapting to technological changes and experimenting with various technologies, will help them in the future to not only cope with changes but to thrive. I have adapted to many changes in my own career and fostering this ability to “adapt and apply” in my learners is and always will be a focus. Creating an environment in the classroom where STEM projects are immersive, engaging and linked to industry with “live projects” has proved to be a great success producing fantastic student outcomes.
The “gap” between school and the real world gets much closer with implementing STEM Education. Students gain confidence, believe that their ideas matter and begin the journey of becoming global citizens that are empowered to create better solutions for an ever changing world.
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