STEM courses teach kids about science, technology, engineering and math. These topics are filled with skills that can benefit kids throughout their lives. Learning STEM requires hands-on activities that stimulate neurological development and fine-tune motor skills.
In many schools, STEM isn’t given much of an emphasis until high school. Unfortunately, courses at that level become very difficult and more theoretical. Students who learn to love STEM at an early age are more likely to thrive during their education. Here are seven reasons why STEM is so valuable to children’s health.
1. Encourages Curiosity
Children are characterized by curiosity. They’re exploring their world, eager to ask questions and copy adults. STEM is a great way to show kids the connection between curiosity and education. Everything they learn in life depends on their ability to ask questions and look for solutions.
The American school system isn’t great at fostering curiosity. Between controlling the classroom and meeting standards, teachers don’t have much time to follow each student’s train of thought. STEM courses allow more curiosity into the classroom, empowering students to ask and follow up on questions.
2. Develops Critical Thinking
The scientific method teaches kids a formula they can use to solve issues they encounter at school and throughout life. Children learn to identify problems, brainstorm solutions and test various methods until they find a solution that works. This practice strengthens students’ mental abilities.
Learning to ask good questions is an essential part of critical thinking. STEM courses help kids think outside the box and ask questions in real-world settings. Instead of staring at a piece of paper, kids in STEM courses hold problems in their hands. These courses improve kids’ health throughout their lives by teaching them how to think in challenging situations.
3. Stimulates Creativity
STEM courses also stimulate children’s natural bent toward creativity. Creativity as a skill is closely connected to innovation, or the ability to think outside the box. Innovators are full of hope, have fresh ideas and are willing to take risks – just like creative children. STEM can help to foster this important quality even in very rigid educational environments.
Creativity is incredibly impactful for mental health. Studies show that creative activities like dancing, listening to music and painting can boost your mood and improve your physical health. STEM courses can help to boost kids’ mental health and encourage healthy stress relief from an early age.
4. Teaches Collaboration
The ability to work with others is another marker of mental and emotional health. STEM courses teach kids the value of working together. Everyone has different strengths and cooperative teams get more done. They’re able to foresee problems, come up with creative solutions and encourage each other when they feel stuck.
Good communication runs on a feedback loop similar to the scientific method. You try something, observe the results and adjust for next time. STEM courses allow kids to develop strong interpersonal skills as they work with a wide variety of other students. Developing these communication skills will benefit kids for the rest of their lives.
5. Produces Joy
Kids know that learning is supposed to be fun. Children’s brains are wired to learn through experience and play. As kids get older, education starts to look like tests and textbooks. Work can become so theoretical that students feel overwhelmed. However, education is much bigger than the American school system.
Early exposure to STEM helps students remember the joy found in these disciplines. It can ignite passion by connecting what they’re learning at school with the outside world. This gives students motivation to work hard even in difficult high school STEM classes. Personal interest will improve their engagement and their grades.
6. Builds Resilience
Many kids have an innate fear of failure. They’re worried about displeasing adults, not measuring up to expectations or being unable to understand a problem. However, real learning happens when kids commit to a course of action and allow themselves to make mistakes.
STEM classes help kids replace fear of failure with resilience. In these courses, kids practice trying new ideas and responding when they don’t work out. They learn that failure is part of the process and not a personal assessment of their value. This builds confidence in their academic and personal lives.
7. Opens Up Opportunity
Students who choose a career in STEM learn skills that transfer well to many different roles. They’re highly valued in the workforce for their ability to problem solve, ask questions and work with others. Getting a STEM degree also shows that students are hardworking, as many of these classes are challenging.
The skills students learn in STEM courses prepare them for a successful career. STEM develops healthy mental processes that can keep students optimistic and motivated even when challenged by difficult circumstances. These courses broaden students’ perspectives and help them see their education as meaningful.
STEM For A Healthy Future
STEM courses benefit kids’ health in a number of exciting ways. These subjects teach kids to stay curious and develop efficient and healthy thought processes. STEM classes stimulate creativity and show students the connection between education and real-world change. These courses also build strong interpersonal skills.
Kids who take STEM courses learn that science and math classes are fun. Through exposure to these subjects, students develop optimism about solving future problems. They lose their fear of failure and become stronger learners. These classes prepare kids for a multitude of future opportunities, whether or not they choose a STEM career.