Thanks to human creativity and the skills of scientists, technologists, engineers, and mathematicians, we human beings know more about ourselves and the world than ever before. We are also collecting more data about more things more systematically than ever before. The ability to analyze and apply mathematical models to such data further helps us to better understand natural phenomena and to devise more efficient processes.
The world has unmistakably become more technological since the advent of the steam engine. In the relatively short span of time since then, human beings have experienced the most dramatic improvement in the quality and length of their lives in history. Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) have a lot to do with that!
At the same time, STEM represent the best hope for understanding why nature behaves the way it does and overcoming the challenges we face, from finding cures for diseases to building energy-efficient housing!
In September 2010, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) in the US issued a report titled Prepare and Inspire: K-12 Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Education for America’s Future. This report highlights the critical importance of early education in STEM as the way to respond to significant challenges as well as historic opportunities facing the US, and the world. As the title of the report suggests, one of the PCAST’s conclusions is that we must prepare and inspire! Among its seven recommendations you will also find an appeal to use technology to drive innovation, and to create opportunities for inspiration through individual and group experiences.
With some 8,000 free open educational resources about math and another 8,100 about science, many of which are interactive, video, or fun games, Curriki has a wealth of engaging content about STEM. You can search for them according to grade range, subject, format (e.g. video or podcast), and type of usage (for example, game or exercise).
STEM education is important because it has a significant positive impact on society by helping prepare an important portion of tomorrow’s skilled workforce, improving the economy, and passing to future generations a sense of comfort with STEM.
Help promote this cause by getting excited about STEM education! A formal background in STEM is not required, just a curiosity about how and why nature works the way it does! To start, you can go out and explore, touch, listen, and discover! Or browse the content on Curriki to see what appeals to you. Then spread the word and your enthusiasm!
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(* Image courtesy of Orion Marketing.)