STEM EDUCATION – Educational method of 21th century
This is the educational method integrating Science, Technology, Engineering and Math in each lesson, to provide knowledge for the students through practical experience, and honing necessary skills for the 21st century like critical thinking, teamwork, and presentation.
STEM EDUCATION prioritize creative experience in the study process. Project-based learning is given to students with clear objectives; thus enhancing the creative thinking and scientific knowledge. Besides, students can form good habits of thinking, observing and analyzing in a logically scientific way. Last but not least, collaboration and presentation skills shines through the learning experience.
AmericanSTEM’s philosophy of STEM education is Real STEM – Real Life. All of projects and challenges for the students come must be realistic problems in life, with real connection with students. Each STEM project not only focus on the learning outcomes of one single discipline; it also combines many different subjects, create a complex environment of applied science and nurture students’ creativity.
The STEM City project of AmericanSTEM is a clear example of Real STEM – Real Life. This is not only a learning model. STEM City is a mini city that is alive and self-sustainable: from smart irrigation gardens to programmed traffic system, from solar energy power station to water filtration depot. Each student is given a mission to research and build the basic factors of a eco-friendly STEM city, applying Physics, Biology, Mathematics, Engineering. After the course, they will have better understanding and awareness to their surrounding environment. Another aspect of Real STEM – Real Life in the STEM city is the connection to real life. Students will be able to observe what they have learned wherever they go; from which they can practice observation, analyzation and problem solving skills.
For instance, with tree planting project, 1st Grade students will grow many different plants to create an urban vertical garden to conserve space and maximize sunlight. At the same time, they will design the smart irrigation system to water the garden automatically.
During the project, students will learn about the importance of trees in our life: providing oxygen, preventing soil erosion, reduce pollution, create shades, etc. The project encourages students to protect the environment, using a creative engineering design to solve a real-world problem.
Students in 2nd and 3rd Grade will design and operate a fully automated transportation system, using computers and robots. Stages of computational thinking such as algorithm, pattern recognition, decomposition and abstraction will help our students to program the safe and smart self-driving cars.
4th and 5th grade students are responsible for providing electricity and water for STEM city, by constructing a solar power stations, and water filtration depots. Those works require understanding of basic electrical circuit, the principle of water filtration. They are also the architects who apply their mathematical skills to design the master plan for the whole city.
Project-based learning enables students to think critically, protect their opinion while challenging others’, and cooperate with their team. There are many phases in the study process, each one requires students to present their ideas, design and complete a product. During the final phase, every group will present their thoughts, ideas and solutions of STEM city to the whole class and parents.
STEM city is not only a model but also a fully functional city. It provides different learning objectives, different projects to all students from different age groups and scientific backgrounds.
STEM city is not only a project, but a platform for students to continuously learn, discover and apply their science knowledge to solve real-world problem.
In STEM education, students’ interest is our top priority. The challenges must be interesting to stimulate creativity and curiosity. Beside creating lesson plan, STEM Teachers play an important role to maintain students’ passion to learning. Thus, they need to be trained in STEM delivery and instruction.
Even though STEM education has been deployed for 15 years in the U.S. and many other countries, Dr. Le Phuoc Hung, CEO of AmericanSTEM is confident that Vietnam can learn from others’ successes and failures, to create an innovative and competitive workforce.
THE BEAUTY OF STEM EDUCATION:
1) Working as a team
2) Life skills are integrated into each lesson
3) Learning by doing
4) Collaborative learning
5) Share ideas and experiment together
6) Learning is always come with practice
7) Real challenge - Real solution
8) Learning by projects
9) Critical thinking and observation skills are shown through STEM experience activities
10) Failure teaches success.
11) Immediate application of knowledge learned in real life project and life
12) STEM attitude is more important than personal preference.
13) There is no wrong answer.
14) Teachers do not lecture, but guide the children in the learning process
15) Do not evaluate students with the test, but through the learning process
16) Know how to share results with family and friends
17) Confidence will be trained through many experiments and failures
18) Know how to explain difficult problems in an easy, understandable way
19) Knowledge will only be useful when applied to reality
20) Must learn from failures and share with everyone