The commonly used acronym, STEM, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, has come to play a strong role not only in terms of preparing students for careers in these fields but also to help them develop critical 21st-century skills. Above everything STEM learning is to do with finding creative solutions to real-world problems. STEM has, in fact, grown to represent an exceptional approach to teaching and learning. Unlike traditional education experiences in which subject areas are taught in silos, STEM education integrates subjects in ways that connect subject areas and relate them to each other. The answer to what is STEM-based education is also that STEM focuses on developing higher-level thinking skills since it doesn’t just offer classroom learning but also connects it to the real world. Additionally, it has a strong emphasis on research, problem-solving, critical thinking, and creativity, in short, on skills that students need to be successful in today’s world regardless of their specific interests or career goals.

Objectives Of STEM Education:

Let us look at what is stem education and why is it important:


The big argument in favor of STEM education is its relevance in the workforce. As per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in STEM occupations has grown 79 percent in the past three decades. With the growing importance of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Big Data, mathematical modeling, and more, the demand for STEM-related workforce is only slated to increase. Speaking of STEM Education in India per se, the country is home to a large and growing population of young people, many of who are eager to participate in the latest technological advancements. The number of STEM graduates in India is expected to grow from 2 million in 2019 to 10 million by 2025, while the demand for STEM-related skills in India is expected to grow by 50% by 2025. India already contributes a whopping 31.7 percent of the total STEM graduates in the world and has one of the world’s largest STEM job markets. The country is also the third-largest unicorn hub. Aptly, in 2019, the Indian government announced a plan to invest $10 billion in STEM education over the next five years.

According to the National Science Foundation, it is estimated that 80 percent of the jobs created in the next decade will require some form of math and science skills and India’s young workforce must be prepared for it. The need for a vast, talented workforce in STEM-related fields has never been more necessary. According to the World Economic Forum’s report, by 2025, 97 million new job roles may emerge, and the Human-A.I. collaboration will redefine the industry. To remain competitive in the global marketplace, it will be essential for students to develop strong STEM skills.

Skill Development

The importance of STEM education is about so much more than just jobs. Importantly, STEM fields demand curious individuals eager to solve the world’s most pressing problems. STEM-based education teaches children more than science and mathematics concepts. The focus on hands-on learning with real-world applications helps develop a variety of skill sets, including creativity and 21st-century skills. STEM education triggers curiosity in students given its application-based learning, experimental approach, tinkering with hands-on execution & more.

STEM education also helps students develop skills like critical thinking, creative thinking motivates experimentation, and more. In a VUCA world, these skills are priceless as they help students analyze challenges as well as develop alternative strategies to tackle them. Importantly by virtue of their training, children develop curiosity, which turns them into learners for life.

importance of STEM education

Make the world a better place

It goes without saying that we need STEM experts to find cures for diseases, develop new antibiotics, help us understand big data, fight issues like global hunger, and solve many other real-world problems.

STEM education can also offer sustainable solutions to several challenges that human beings have created on account of their relentless exhaustion of natural resources. From using sustainable practices that do not harm nature, to looking for solutions for global malaise such as climate change, it is the use of STEM skills with its multi-disciplinary approach that can make it possible.

Bridging the gender gap

Look around and the one aspect that is all-pervasive is the gender gap. India’s female labor participation rate particularly has been declining over the past two decades, dropping from 32% in 2005 to 19% in 2021. While there are multiple reasons for it in a complex country like India, one reason also is the lack of opportunities available to girls as also the deeply entrenched gender bias. With more STEM opportunities being available to girls right from the school level, the gender gap will slowly bridge.

Why is STEM Important in Early Childhood Education?

STEM education right through the K-12 level goes a long way in building a curious mindset that wants to find answers. It in fact focuses on aspects like critical thinking, problem-solving, and more that go on to become a way of life. STEM education for kindergarten, for example, does not mean exposing young learners to trending concepts in the world of science & technology but filling in them this unquenchable curiosity & thirst that will help them go a long way in building a better life & a better world. These skills learned early, will last them right into adulthood. To say that everyone needs STEM is not an overstatement in that it:

✔ It fosters critical thinking & problem-solving skills
✔ Promotes creativity & innovation

The push for STEM has lately evolved into the STEAM movement, which has added the arts for further enrichment and engagement. It is through this multi-disciplinary approach that we will be able to make a real difference.

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April 2024