In our rapidly changing world, educational institutions are changing inevitably. Education also takes its share from this change. Instead of resisting this change, we keep pace with change with methods and techniques. In recent years, our schools and education system have been influenced by an important approach that has emerged in the United States. This approach is STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) education.
What is STEM Training?
It is difficult to fully understand and define what is happening. Because it is not an idea put forward by one person. The lack of a full definition of STEM training has yet to be made by each stakeholder to interpret STEM training in line with its own perspectives. However, in general terms, STEM education is described as an education approach in which science, technology, engineering and mathematics are taught and integrated in a meaningful way (Kırkıç, Derin and Aydın, 2018).
What is STEM Training?
• Misconceptions about STEM education are as follows:
1. Technology education and engineering are separate.
2. STEM is experimental studies.
3. Mathematics education and science education are separate.
4. Technology means computers for teachers and students.
5. STEM students can work in the technical field because they do not have a humanities background.
• Errors in STEM training:
1. Only legos are used in STEM training.
2. STEM training is for physics courses only.
3. STEM training should only be given to gifted students.
4. STEM training is expensive.
5. STEM training is a simple and easy training.
6. STEM training is provided only in private schools.
7. Only science and mathematics teachers can take STEM education.
Importance of STEM Education
1. The most important reason why STEM education is so popular is the economy. STEM training; It has an important position in the 21st century in terms of the development of the national economy, the increase in the quality of life, the formation of new industries and the opening up of new business opportunities for young generations.
2. STEM education includes the idea that ‘education is not life to prepare people for life ta. STEM education offers students the opportunity to use the knowledge they have learned in their daily lives.
3. STEM training provides the link between school and business. Many employers in the business world today say that there is a disconnection between the training given to individuals and the business life. One of the main aims of education should be to establish this connection.
4. Another reason why STEM education is preferred by countries is to increase student achievement in PISA / TIMSS exams. The importance of the PISA / TIMSS exams is: to ensure the prestige of the country, the evaluation of the country’s education systems by an independent institution, and to increase literacy in science and mathematics. Indirectly, these features increase the importance of STEM training.
5. Vocational education is one of the main reasons why STEM education is so important to countries.
6. STEM aims to increase interest in the disciplines of education.
Benefits of STEM Training
1. To develop problem solving skills.
2. To increase the interest in science, mathematics and engineering.
3. To provide the opportunity to train literate individuals in science and mathematics.
4. To enable interdisciplinary work.
5. To provide meaningful learning.
6. To increase academic success.
7. To use the learned knowledge in daily life.
8. Ensure the development of 4C skills.