The constant technology changes are opening new opportunities. It is estimated that more than two million jobs related to STEAM vocations (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) will be impacting the world in the coming years.
The digital divide regarding the integration of technology in education and gender equity are some of the problems that generate deficiencies and absence of professionals trained in science and technology.
Generally, the educational system does not provide the stimuli and the necessary methodology to motivate and enhance STEAM competences, causing disinterest in these areas. In addition, the inclination for technology scientific careers is almost always aimed at the male gender, making opportunities for women’s potential scarce.
How can we motivate and strengthen STEAM vocations?
- If we ask the children what they want to be when they grow up, they will probably tell us doctor, astronaut, scientist, veterinarian, etc. In general, children are not afraid to express their aspirations. The problem is to stop asking them and not motivate them to achieve their goals.
- It is essential to provide children with toys that awake their imagination without making a gender distinction. Building blocks, mechanics tools, space exploration toys, race car assembly, science oriented toys, among others.
- The use of mobile devices by children should be an opportunity to expand their knowledge and develop skills of computational thinking, work of emotions and multiple intelligences.
Integration of technology in the classroom
- In the classroom, STEAM vocations should be worked with recreational activities that favor the solutions of real world problems. For example, designing intelligent parking or programming an autonomous vehicle requires mathematical calculation skills and the application of physics concepts.
- Robotics projects involve students in different areas, fostering motivating and meaningful learning.
- The implementation of the Project-Based Learning methodology opens up concrete possibilities for the STEAM approach. Students learn to discover the potential they have to become future scientists, inventors or engineers.
- All students must learn to program. The programming is not exclusive for a group of students or the computer class; you can work in integrative activities with Science, Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies and others.
- The STEAM approach must always be oriented to the reality and culture of the country. Students must work on the creation of projects of urbanity, smart cities and inventions to solve problems of their own environment.
“Discovering the potential of vocations in children STEAM is the key to having great opportunities in the future”.