Are STEM Teachers in Demand?

Do you want to train the professionals of tomorrow? If so, consider a teaching career at primary and secondary schools in STEM. Help prepare our children for future jobs and shape their soft skills during their transition to adulthood. Teaching is a very rewarding career. So, what is STEM, and why are STEM teachers in demand?

What is STEM?

STEM is a teaching philosophy that integrates four disciplines into a cross-disciplinary program with real-world applications and teaching methods to help students solve complex problems. STEM teaching primarily focuses on developing critical thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills.

STEM is an educational program created to prepare students for future jobs in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. With increased demand for technology-driven roles, the nation needs more professional educators with a background in STEM.

Why is STEM important?

There are many reasons why STEM is important. Some of the top reasons include:

Teaching Children Future Skills

STEM education is essential in early childhood education because it teaches emerging skills. STEM helps form students’ soft skills from childhood to adulthood. These soft skills include cooperation, problem-solving, critical thinking, and effective communication.

Cooperation – Students work in groups on complex projects and must work together to solve problems. This teamwork is similar to the workplace in technology-driven industries, where a team of professionals is needed to find creative solutions, innovate, and create products for the digitized economy.

Problem Solving A key component in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. With crucial problem-solving techniques, students can answer different types of questions. Problem-solving skills also allow students to increase their confidence in making good decisions.

Critical Thinking – STEM allows students to conceptualize the problem, whether it is a robotics project or science experiment; students can apply their knowledge, analyze the findings, evaluate the outcome, and ultimately form a conclusion in line with the projected outcome.

Effective Communication – STEM projects allow students to build practical communication skills while collaborating and explaining their ideas and innovations. Communication skills are crucial in the workforce as one person will not have all the answers, and students will learn to work with others to find a suitable outcome.

Demand for STEM Professionals

There is an increased need for professionals trained in STEM for tomorrow’s economy. STEM jobs are in high demand, and professionals are in short supply. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, STEM fields are projected to grow 8 percent by 2029.

A Growing Digital Economy

The digital economy was valued at 3.7 trillion dollars in gross output in 2021. There is a growth in cloud services, internet and data services, telecommunication, computer infrastructure, and e-commerce. The digital economy has introduced technological advances, changing how we do business. These technological advances include:

Internet of Things (IoT) – Products are embedded with sensors, software, and technologies to connect and exchange information. Intelligent sensors can talk to thermostats and suggest the room’s temperature or alert the owner’s cell phone to let them know that they are wasting energy. Access to low-cost sensor technology, internet connectivity, and cloud computing platforms has made it easier for our technology to stay connected and has helped us in many ways. Plus, someone will need to know how to fix these technologies and understand how to innovate and make them better. This is where a STEM education starts to pay off.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) – This technology allows computers and devices to learn, read, write, create, and analyze. AI technology can process large amounts of data, recognize patterns, and make decisions. Our children are immersed in technology and use Siri or Alexa daily. Every time they ask Siri or Alexa a question, they utilize artificial intelligence and implement STEM learning.

Robotics – The conception, design, manufacturing, and operation of robots. It utilizes engineering and computer science to replicate, substitute, or assist humans. Robotics helps kids learn STEM concepts within a hands-on environment. It also advances their critical thinking, logical reasoning, and problem-solving skills.

Machine Learning – A branch of AI and computer science that uses data and algorithms to enable AI to imitate humans. It can learn from data and make complex decisions without rules-based programming. Machine learning is behind the chatbots used when contacting the utility company or annoying you when you write a text on your smartphone.

Hands-on Learning

Students involved in STEM education work in laboratories with real-world science, technology, engineering, and Math elements. In addition to listening to lectures, students learn through discovery. They work on challenging projects that require theoretical knowledge and abstract aspects in STEM disciplines. They are encouraged to explore and creatively apply their knowledge during laboratory projects.

Technology in the Classroom

A new technology that is making its way into the classroom is virtual reality (VR). VR is a great way to offer a safe environment for students to learn and make mistakes without catastrophic outcomes. Students can work on complex problems and get immediate feedback, helping them build their confidence in implementing solutions in the real world.

Are STEM Teachers in Demand?

Schools continue to face a significant shortage of qualified STEM teachers. STEM jobs are growing twice as fast as non-STEM jobs, and we need teachers in primary and secondary schools to integrate STEM philosophy into the curriculum. The shortage is most significant in high-need, low-income schools.

You can become a STEM teacher by completing a Math (STEM) Education Bachelor of Arts Degree program at Florida National University. Our 120-credit degree program teaches you about communication, biology, algebra, geometry, education, classroom management, calculus and analytic geometry, web programming, and many other STEM-related courses to prepare you for a primary or secondary school teaching position.

Why are STEM Teachers in Demand?

The government has invested billions of dollars to prioritize STEM education. President Biden allocated $6 billion in the next few years and $10 billion through 2031 to create Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math centers of excellence. Another $5 billion will be spent on STEM education and training to invest in future technologies. President Biden has also allocated $1.6 billion to help teachers get certified in high-demand areas, including STEM.

What Can You Do as a STEM Teacher?

Teachers have a lasting impact on students and help shape their futures. All teachers, including STEM teachers, can support our future generations by:

Encouraging Young Minds

STEM classes drive students to discover and explore. Students expand their minds through discovery and are driven by their curiosity. Teachers can encourage young minds by showing them their curiosity for STEM.

Increasing STEM Literacy

Literacy in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics can help our students in more STEM-related jobs. Using SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) goals can help break tasks into manageable steps and help students celebrate their achievements.

Preparing Tomorrow’s Professionals

The jobs of tomorrow use technology, and the more our kids use technology, the more they can compete in the workforce. STEM education leverages educational technology, including educational apps and online resources.

Motivating, Inspiring, and Engaging

Through STEM, teachers can cultivate a love for learning, foster a growth mindset, and practice active learning. Students are encouraged to participate, inspired to innovate, and engaged with the curriculum. Teachers can do this by offering a diverse range of books and literature. STEM teachers can also use multisensory learning to help engage students with visual aids, and hands-on and auditory learning to make information memorable.

Math (STEM) Education, Bachelor of Arts

The Math (STEM) Education Bachelor of Arts Degree is designed for students seeking a B.A. degree who want to work in the education field. The skills and knowledge students acquire in this program apply to educating students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). Students enrolled in this program receive a solid foundation in the STEM fields and are prepared to teach in Secondary Education. Florida National University grants a Bachelor of Arts degree upon successful program completion.

If you are interested in teaching STEM, let Florida National University answer any questions you may have. Contact us today to learn more about our STEM Education Degree program.