Science, technology, engineering and maths. There’s a good chance you know what STEM stands for. But not everyone knows what STEM means. Just how important STEM subjects are. How exciting studying them can be. The big-picture questions they empower you to answer. And the broad skills and qualities – not just limited to technical knowledge – you can learn from them.
STEM is talked about a lot, but there’s a great deal of confusion and misconceptions around it, and some of this can be truly damaging – from hurting the aspirations of young people to denying the world a generation of bright minds hungry to solve the most difficult problems. That’s why, in this blog we’re going to cover the meaning of STEM – and why it’s so important.
THE STEM SUBJECTS
When people think of STEM, there’s usually a few dated stereotypes they have in mind: goggles and dusty lab coats, Bunsen burners and equations on chalkboards, old men with beards poring over engineering blueprints. The reality is much different.
And many people think about STEM subjects too narrowly. Each one is a world of its own. In science, one person could be studying climate change, while another could be researching drugs for cancer patients. In engineering, one person could be building a Formula One car, while another is working on a hydroelectric dam. In tech, one person could be building a robot to help assist surgeries, while another person is coding an app that helps kids learn their ABCs.
WHY STUDYING STEM IS SO VALUABLE
A lot of people think STEM subjects are pretty much vocational; if you do maths you become an engineer, if you study science you go into medicine. But the truth is, studying a STEM subject offers more than technical skills – although there are plenty of those, too. From working collaboratively to managing projects, thinking creatively to communicating effectively, the STEM fields are every bit as effective at teaching soft skills as any other area.
And the skills you learn have a broader range of application than you might realise. Learning how to code a video game will help you understand the theory behind programming a robot. And thinking even wider, it will also help you be able to write a story – develop characters, think about the plot, understand structure. Studying STEM is every bit as creative, ambitious, inventive as studying creative writing, history and languages.
But where could STEM take you? Well, the world is your oyster. Whether taking on Silicon Valley and the startup world, rising to the top of a blue-chip business, making a name for yourself in the academic world or taking STEM skills and applying them to a non-profit, learning STEM has the power to take you anywhere.
At iPlayTek, we give the young people of today the skills they need to take the tech world of tomorrow by storm. From coding to robotics, digital design to video game development, you’ll work in close teams with other like-minded kids and teens to get to grips with the skills and tech that are shaping the world today. Discover our range of camps and courses now.