16 April 2017
What does quality STEM education mean to parents, teachers and students? The Education Bureau (EDB) strives to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education. Following the provision of additional resources for primary and secondary schools in 2016 and 2017, will it help boost up innovation and creativity culture in our community? Among all the busy in-school and out-of-school STEM activities, are we building up a high quality STEM Education ecosystem for our next generation?
One of the key elements of STEM education is exploration and investigation. We want to train students to think logically and systematically through active interactive learning, scientific investigation as well as hands-on experience. Engaged with relevant contexts and data, students are encouraged to apply their knowledge and use various methods test and solve the next challenging problems independently. Engineering Design Process (EDP) is one of the methodology we apply to inspire students in our 440+ hours of curriculum that covers Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electronic Engineering and Environmental Engineering.
Once the students are inspired and motivated through STEM activities, creating STEM learning ecosystem which include home, school, after-school and summer programmes etc will play a key role for creating a continuous learning environment that allow a higher-order thinking skills and stimulate their creativity. These skills are important when students advance into particular STEM topics in higher school level that they are passionate about or innovate products to solve issues in today’s society.
Research from different institutions have shown the importance of engaging students in STEM education from a young age as it is more effective for them to learn STEM in early grades. Early exposure to STEM influences students’ perceptions and disposition in a positive way. Hands-on and inquiry based activities capture their interest in different STEM disciplines may spark their desire to pursue a STEM career.
So STEM Education is a long-term journey that start from a young age. Once problem-based learning and training of critical thinking in students early education, it will assist them in understanding more abstract concepts in science and mathematics. Such learning approaches develop students confidence and motivation when they pursue more advanced STEM courses in the later school year. If they keep inspired in a STEM learning ecosystem, their passion on STEM will become the driving force for his future innovation journey that ultimately we want to establish in our society.