Today, STEM education is increasingly a vital part of any classroom as teachers and students will attest to. However, teachers and schools are only responding to the needs and wants of parents and society as a whole. Now, more than ever, we understand the importance of strong and effective STEM based education programmes for children at an early age and until their tertiary studies. For many parents, the future of their children depends on it, and this focus on a STEM based education system is even more prevalent throughout Asia, an area famous or infamous for its “Tiger Moms”.
But what is STEM?
STEM is short for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Obviously the world needs people who are highly skilled in these areas as they are and become our future nurses and doctors, engineers and programmers (coders), scientists and mathematicians, architects and designers, teachers and professors, and so on. STEM touches every part of our lives.
Traditionally, STEM subjects have been normally been taught at the secondary and tertiary levels, today’s technologically dominated world has seen the need and rise of STEM education, even at the very earliest of ages, from pre-schools and kindergartens to universities.
Where would the world be if Steve Jobs was never interested in designing high tech products, or Bill Gates’ fascination with personal computers, or Henry Ford with the invention of the automobile, and not to mention the scientific giants of our times, the likes of Leonardo da Vinci, Sir Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, and the many inventors and scientists that came before and will come after.
This list inevitably will be different depending on who you ask, but in the end, the final list does not matter since the vast majority of people would agree that there are many benefits for children in STEM based educational programmes.
- Creativity and Innovation: Without ingenuity, creativity, and innovations, the recent developments in artificial intelligence or digital learning would not be possible. These technologies were created by people who pushed the boundaries of research and industry. No doubt they had great K-12 STEM education mentors.
- Problem Solving: This type of education encourages children of all ages to be able to understands problems and issues at their root causes, and to think about possible solutions. Critical thinking skills are not only used but highly encouraged.
- Resilience: Students learn to experiment in a safe setting. STEM education incorporates failure as a key part of learning. The motto of try until you succeed is more than appropriate here. Students also gain confidence and resilience during this learning process, which will carry them when they are faced with challenging times. After all, failure is part of a process that leads to success. Keep failing until you succeed!
- Teamwork: STEM education can be taught to students of all ability levels. Students of varying levels of ability can work together in teams to find solutions to problems, record data, write reports, give presentations, etc. The end result is students who understand how to collaborate with others and thrive in a team-oriented environment.
- Be Un-Afraid: Science and math have been subjects that historically have gotten a bad rap. Reality is, we just didn’t know how to teach our kids and to get them interested in learning these subjects. Today, there are plenty of options to encourage children from a young age to embrace STEM topics in a cleverly fun, interactive, and entertaining way – just look at how successful franchises like Bricks4Kidz have been globally. They have over 500 locations and in 40+ countries and counting! Getting kids interested at a young age will go a long way towards ensuring that they fearlessly pursue their dreams of being an inventor or a doctor or a scientist, and yes, perhaps even the next Albert Einstein or Marie Curie!
- Jobs, Jobs, and Jobs: And very well paying jobs abound for students who excel in science, math and technology. For the over-achievers, well, look no further than Steve Jobs of Apple, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Jeff Bezos of Amazon and Blue Origin, or Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Google, and yes, even Elon Musk of Tesla and Space X! The list grows exponentially by the minute! Who says being smart in science and math isn’t fun or doesn’t pay? These industry titans all have something in common besides being creators of businesses and industries – hint, think the “B” word.
- Live Anywhere: Yes, with your newly found STEM skills, you can literally work anywhere or work from anywhere in the world! These skills are in high demand, so all the hard work that you and your kids put in will be all worth it! We promise!
Well, let’s stop as this list can go on and on, and well, that would be ok too but let’s save that for another article.
For those entrepreneurs, budding entrepreneurs, and those looking to expand their business portfolios, there has never been a better time to pursue new business opportunities in this ever growing sector.
Heck, perhaps you might even be one of those lucky franchisees of Bricks 4 Kidz – they seem to be doing pretty darn well as the biggest STEM enrichment franchise in the world! Research has shown that franchises have an 80% chance of success over five years, which is significantly higher than the 25% success rate for non-franchise businesses.
Visit Bricks 4 Kidz for master franchise opportunities for your country.
For math tutoring franchise, you may be interested in Mathnasium!
Author: Sean T. Ngo is the CEO and Co-Founder of one of Asia’s leading franchise consultancy, VF Franchise Consulting. He is Vietnamese American and has been living in Vietnam for over 16 years. Drop him a “Hello, how are you doing?” at [email protected] or [email protected]. He’d love to hear from you ya!