As students we need to encourage the idea of incorporating the STEM program in our schools. STEM is a program that helps students K-12 access skills and content that relates to real life problems. Imagine getting to engage in a project that hones vital skills that will actually benefit your future and can be used in your everyday life. In many non-STEM programs we focus on the old ways of teaching, and while they still work, STEM appears to be a more effective and an enjoyable learning environment. I was taught with non-STEM programs throughout my elementary and middle school years. I remember asking myself, “When will I ever use these skills again?” I honestly didn’t find much reason to remember my previous knowledge, other than for continuing my studies for the next year. In high school I got introduced to the STEM program and I finally found that these skills I was learning could be applied to real life and be used everyday. From my experience STEM provided more story based problems which allowed me to attack the problem in more than one way. STEM also provided me with a more hands on learning style that ensured that I retained the knowledge from the lesson. These projects allowed me to also work on my communication skills, which were very weak at the time, as I was a very shy kid growing up. With the constant complaint about the younger generation lacking face to face relations, I think that STEM will tackle this problem. STEM encourages learning through projects that allow students to share and present their ideas to each other and the class as a whole. I enjoy that this program also focuses on Technology and Engineering as those are two subjects I have always respected and wanted to pursue. I love cars and technology and this program could allow me to create ideas based on a real life topic I’m passionate about. I would be able to design the structure and characteristics of the car through my engineering skills and then use technology skills to enhance the car’s performance. Allowing students to learn and use skills that benefit them everyday and pursue something they’re passionate seems logical to me. I think that this learning style will allow students to enjoy and get more out of their classes.
-Garrison Hoffman (graduate of Cashmere High School)
Find out more information here-http://www.washingtonstem.org/