Have you ever noticed just how powerful your phone or computer is? Have you ever wondered why the Internet was developed or how Wi-Fi works? More importantly, who developed these technologies and why is it important to understand them? The technologies being developed fall under a category of S.T.E.M, or Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, and have become increasingly valued and emphasized in education and society.
S.T.E.M technology and education is becoming more and more relevant as countries begin to develop. Thirty years ago, the Internet was still in its early stages of development, and the World Wide Web (a form of the modern Internet) was only a year old. Programming required heavy technical analysis and years of experience. Many of the people who worked in these industries became frontrunners leading a digital revolution, in which technological growth exploded over a short period of time. Now, S.T.E.M is considered crucial in today’s education system. . Students are introduced to new education programs within S.T.E.M, but why is this important?
The world is becoming more globalized—or connected—and different countries are now in more contact with each other because of innovations in S.T.E.M. It’s often said that the world is turning into a “global village” of nations, in which people from different countries are becoming more intertwined with other communities because of these specific advances in science and technology, which have single-handedly improved our means of communication and travel. According to the Department of Education, S.T.E.M education will be more important as the United States tries to keep up with the development of new computer science languages and innovations. Even other industries and organizations that may focus on writing, english, history or other subjects require some knowledge about S.T.E.M subjects.
You may still be wondering, however: why is this important? S.T.E.M education is becoming the backbone of our society because new infrastructure is being built on and around it. The Internet and digitization will affect more than both oil and electricity in the Industrial Revolution of the 1800s. It is transforming the way we communicate, wage war, explore space, and consume resources. Beyond that, it will be more deeply entrenched into our individual lives and societies. This isn’t necessarily something to fear: in fact, many benefits may come from artificial intelligence, computer science technologies, and other forms of digitization. PTC, an education technology company, reported in 2019 that operation efficiency improved by 40%, time to market new products improved by 36%, and managing customer expectations improved by 35% in businesses that embraced digitization.
It’s not all good news, though; due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the rising costs of maintaining workers, the United States lost millions of jobs because of automation, the process by which companies switch from human employees to robotic or electronic ones. This type of job loss is largely present due to a lack of education in new fields, along with increased technological growth that many workers aren’t necessarily able to keep up with.
Visual showing the similarities between our brains and A.I. Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay.
Being trained in S.T.E.M subjects from an early age will allow for younger generations to overcome learning gaps that pertain to many modern adults in these industries. Teaching students skills at younger ages will improve their ability to learn in the future, while simultaneously ensuring that we expand the workforce for these new industries.
Education, D. O. (2020). Science, technology, engineering, and math, including computer science. Retrieved March 12, 2021, from https://www.ed.gov/stem
Kelly, J. (2020, October 27). U.S. lost over 60 million JOBS-NOW Robots, tech and artificial intelligence will take millions more. Retrieved March 12, 2021, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/jackkelly/2020/10/27/us-lost-over-60-million-jobs-now-robots-tech-and-artificial-intelligence-will-take-millions-more/?sh=32e788ed1a52
White, N. (2021, February 17). 14 digital TRANSFORMATION statistics & why they matter to the enterprise. Retrieved March 12, 2021, from https://www.ptc.com/en/blogs/corporate/digital-transformation-statistics
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