WHAT IS STEM?
Knowledge expands with great rapidity. We are surrounded by the wonders of technology. To prepare student-teachers for the challenging future this represents, it is important that we equip them with wide-ranging skills. The 21st Century teacher needs to look critically at what and how students are acquiring these skills. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) is a well-known and well-practiced idea in many countries, here in Pakistan there is still scope for doing more.
I shared the idea of combining disciplines (i.e. STEM) with my student-teachers. STEM is about integrated learning, bring together opportunities for students to develop problem-solving skills, productive team work, decision-making skills, whilst engaging students in innovative projects, making connections with real world problems and creative solutions.
The student-teachers decided to work on 3 different projects. One group made an anemometer - an instrument that helps to measure air speed. Another group designed a conveyor belt – to move things from one place to another. The third group designed a hand-biometric system.
The students worked enthusiastically and enjoyed the projects. 21st Century teachers should always try to bring creativity and innovation to their lessons - scientific literacy is the ultimate goal.