By Devin Partida
Our world is changing so rapidly that sometimes, it's challenging to predict what the future will look like. But one thing is certain — kids have different needs now than they did 20 years ago.
Gone are the days when being intelligent and hardworking is enough. Now, more factors contribute to determining the future generation's success. But just how can we prepare our kids to become key leaders in future industries?
The answer can be found in a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. A STEM education significantly impacts children's future as these subjects can teach kids many soft and hard skills that will enable them to perform at a globally competitive level.
What Makes STEM Education Valuable?
As the world reaches new technological heights, so must the quality of education. Both areas go hand-in-hand to produce professionals adept at solving new problems with cutting-edge solutions, effectively making the world a better place for all.
The knowledge-based industries that hire professionals with STEM disciplines also contribute to a healthy global economy. Producing experts with high-value skills in hard sciences should be a priority for any country as it can drive growth in the long run.
This is why world leaders continue to push for the further development of STEM courses, even at the primary level. Getting children interested in STEM courses at a young age gives them an advantage early on, especially when they decide to pursue a career in related fields.
How STEM Encourages Positive Leadership
Investing in STEM education goes beyond practicality. It's also a wise investment as STEM courses build children up with skills that help them make effective leadership decisions in the future. Skills necessary for key leadership roles in STEM industries include:
Problem-solving: Science and tech industries need innovative solutions to problems. STEM teaches kids the basics and lets them figure out how to solve problems independently using informed decisions and scientific, data-backed reasoning.
Critical thinking: Developing a critical thinking mindset in children is essential in and out of the classroom. As kids encounter increasingly challenging obstacles, they discover how to sift through helpful information and apply it in their studies and personal lives.
Curiosity: Solutions can sometimes come in the form of questions. Exposing children to exciting and challenging tasks develops curiosity and inventive thinking. When they can't find what they're looking for in books, children can create new ways to deal with problems on their own.
Communication: Being a leader is a demanding job. Working with people, equally so. STEM studies can help children understand the value of teamwork by allowing them to communicate with other like-minded people. The collaborative process is a valuable exercise where children can hone their communication skills.
Adaptability: Teaching kids resilience is part of the STEM curriculum. When people don't know how to adapt to roadblocks, they give up easily and pass on the responsibility to others. STEM students are more adept at adapting to new situations and know that a roadblock is just another opportunity to find creative solutions.
Individuals pursuing a STEM education can also invest in hard skills to complement their newly acquired soft skills. Developing hard skills can help students choose college courses based on what suits them best. Possessing the following skills can help students become more competitive in the global workforce:
Preparing Children for the Future
Getting kids interested early in STEM can be compared to giving them free rein over their future and its many possibilities. Exposing children to having a growth mindset early on reaps benefits for them in the long run. The world constantly changes, so it's only right to prepare kids for the future and teach them how to grow and thrive with it.
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