The Importance of STEM Courses for Teenagers

By Lewis

STEM courses or those integrating Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics are becoming standard curriculum at all levels, and for good reasons. These courses can help students understand the world they live in and are likely to inherit, but they can also maximize your teenagers’ career potential and cultivate their innovation skills. It is important to note that a math class is not necessarily a STEM class if it does not integrate the four subjects into a cross-disciplinary approach to problems.

Understanding the World Around Them

Information technology is one of the fastest-growing career fields globally, and IT professionals are essential for a variety of industries. More and more, the economies around the world rely on knowledge, and data-based products and services are standard in most markets. A foundation in STEM concepts can help students understand news stories, think critically about problems they face, and even understand how application delivery innovations impact the games they play. The cross-disciplinary approach taught by STEM classes becomes second nature to most students and is used in innovative ways to shape life and understand new concepts. These kids will apply this way of thinking to everything from what to do on a Saturday afternoon to how to use bacteria to clean chemical spills on other planets or even both simultaneously.

Maximizing Career Potential

It can be almost impossible to predict which jobs will be in demand in the future, leaving generations scrambling to learn a new career as demand shifts. Still, the basics of science, technology, engineering and mathematics can be a solid foundation for careers in almost any industry and capacity. It is much easier, for example, to switch from a career in accounting to one in data analytics if you can understand how to apply math in each situation. With technological solutions dominating most aspects of life, having a foundation in the STEM principles behind those solutions can do more than make understanding the world more accessible; it can also help maximize the career potential of today’s youth.

It is becoming apparent to Boomers, Gen-Xers, and Millennials that the foundations taught when they were students relied more on memorization of facts and less on learning and using knowledge tools for various situations. Older generations realize that computer literacy skills encompass more these days than when they were growing up, and changing careers can mean starting your education over. On the other hand, a solid foundation in STEM concepts can help your teenager choose from thousands of jobs and learn industry-specific skills needed for a new career in their spare time or even invent career fields you and your parents could never dream of.

Cultivating Innovation

Because STEM courses are designed to teach students how to blend the core concepts of each subject and bring them to bear on multiple types of problems, these classes are teaching students to be innovative and rely on that set of tools. Your teenager will learn how to look at a problem in multiple different ways and choose the best way to solve it; in other words, he or she will be taught how to innovate solutions in all aspects of life because looking “outside the box” for answers will be habitual.

Final Thoughts

STEM courses teach integrated skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics to cultivate innovation in students by making it standard to approach a problem in multiple ways. These courses can help open up career opportunities in nearly every industry and help students think critically about the world around them. Having the foundational toolset learned from STEM courses can maximize the career potential of your teens and drive the economic future through innovation.

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