When it comes to our children’s education, many of us parents have heard of STEM, but how much do we really know about it? What do the letters in this acronym actually stand for? Don’t feel bad, I wasn’t 100% sure either, but it’s a really important topic concerning our children’s education, both now and for their future.
Entelechy Education, LLC, the interactive learning company behind The EnteleTrons® Series of picture information books, project-based learning tools, resources, and activities that help young children develop strong moral character while they learn valuable STEM concepts, breaks it down for us:
“A majority of the basic skills and knowledge that children need throughout their lives come from the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics or STEM. STEM can teach critical thinking, discipline, creative problem-solving, collaboration, reasoning, and communication. Early exposure to STEM concepts can help children get a jump-start on valuable knowledge that can carry over to all aspects of their growth and development.”
Joshua Sneideman, an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow at the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, wrote a piece for the Natural Start Alliance and thinks of “STEM as much more than an acronym. It is really a philosophy. STEM is a way of thinking about how educators at all levels—including parents—should be helping students integrate knowledge across disciplines, encouraging them to think in a more connected and holistic way.”
So now that we know what STEM actually is, why is it so important for our kids to be exposed to the learning concepts? How does learning through STEM benefit them in the future?
As stated in the online publication, About Time, Your Partner in STEM Education, “According to the U.S. Department of Education, all STEM jobs in the U.S. will increase 14 percent from 2010-2020, accounting for millions of positions. Yet, data shows that 3 million of those jobs will go unfilled by 2018. One reason for that is not enough students seriously consider a career in STEM. In fact, only 16 percent of American high school seniors are proficient in mathematics and interested in a STEM career.”
It is not just up to our school and teachers to expose our children to STEM concepts. Parents, we need to take responsibility and get educated about how we can do that at home.
That is why I LOVE The EnteleTrons series, mentioned above. My kids absolutely adore the books and I feel good about teaching them at the same time. It enables me to take what they are learning in the classroom and combine it with what is happening in our daily lives.
It enables me to take what they are learning in the classroom, be a part of their STEM education and bring the concepts and tools into my home.
If you haven’t read my detailed piece on the storybooks and the company behind it, READ IT!
All of this information is scary and upsetting, but they are the facts. Did you know America consistently ranks poorly against its global classmates in STEM subjects, placing 25th in math and 17th in science out of 31 countries ranked by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development? Only about 18 percent of high school seniors perform at or above proficiency in science subjects, according to the National Math and Science Initiative. These alarming numbers are forcing America to go back to the chalkboard and evaluate where we stand in an evolving STEM world.
Again, more data proving why STEM parenting tools, like The EnteleTrons, are so imperative for our children! The company behind the series has done extensive research and is well aware of the lack of STEM exposure for our children in our schools. They are unique in that they represent a novel approach toward integrating both STEM and character education themes within the existing literacy education system.
“Children have not historically engaged in the subjects of STEM at the same level as other subjects in their learning environments. As a result, our country has not kept pace with other countries in the STEM fields. Leaders in education, government, and all business sectors also share a growing desire to excel in STEM. Therefore, there is an increased need and demand for STEM-educated individuals evidenced by the following statistics:
Between the years 2006 and 2016, the total employment in science and engineering occupations will increase at more than double the overall growth rate for all occupations (National Science Board, 2010).
STEM education continues to gain national attention among educators, legislators and scholars, which is wonderful. Public and private schools are deploying STEM curricula in all grades – with elementary schools bringing up the rear in adoption. Community education extensions are also offering resources to help both parents and children share in STEM learning opportunities.
The good news is what is out there for our kids when they graduate with the proper STEM education:
The EnteleTrons creators believe that in addition to STEM education, that “character development is equally as important, particularly for young children. Integrating character education components, in an easily understood format for children of all ages and abilities, fosters the development of a shared supportive, interacting environment enhancing the overall education experience.”
They call their proprietary approach STEM-C® Literacy. With The EnteleTrons®, children are engaged through hands-on learning methods. This helps them build character traits such integrity, responsibility, kindness, cooperation, sharing, and other important life skills – in addition to learning to read!
Talk to your child’s school about how STEM fits into their curriculum and ask questions. The more you know and the more information you are armed with, the better! Remember, STEM is not just for school but can be incorporated into daily life with your children and family. Head on over and learn about The EnteleTrons and all the ways they can help you do just that. Did I mention they have a STEM cookbook? How cool is that? Stay tuned on more information…coming soon.