With career opportunities increasing in science and technology, STEAM classes need to be interactive in order to attract students to the skills they teach and the professions where those skills will be used.
Popular Science magazine estimates that the job market in science and technology is growing three times faster than the rest of the economy. However, the interest that young people have in these jobs is limited.
“Career paths are being taken over by technology and other career paths are opening up. STEAM and this type of active learning gives teachers an opportunity to help students develop the skills they need for jobs they can’t imagine,” said Stephanie Otero, El Paso Community Foundation special projects manager.
Otero believes that the development of interactive hands on curriculum is critical to engaging students. It’s important that teachers have training in facilitating active learning in STEAM subjects. Some of that training is funded by grants obtained by the El Paso Community Foundation’s Classroom Fund.
“So instead of reading about electromagnetic fields, they’re going to actually do them and experience them and write about them and read about them. You’re combining all of the learning pieces together to really understand ‘What is an electromagnetic field?’” Otero said.