It has long been established that helping children develop a passion for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) is one of the best ways to prepare them for the future. According to the Smithsonian Science Education Center, demand for jobs in these fields continues to grow, and approximately 2.4 million STEM jobs remain unfilled in the United States.
STEM educators around the nation play an essential role in addressing this shortfall. Unfortunately, not only are we facing a shortage of STEM educators across the country to teach these important subjects, but often these teachers feel unsupported and are expected to create lesson plans filled with concepts not covered during their time in college.
Read below for two strategies that can help STEM teachers prepare the innovators of tomorrow!
Introducing Innovative Role Models
According to research from Opportunity Insights, children who are exposed to innovation at a young age are more likely to innovate in adulthood. Educators can use this insight to their advantage by introducing students to relatable STEM role models. This is also an effective strategy to combat the gender gap present in many STEM fields. By incorporating diverse, innovative role models within your lesson plans, you will help inspire an even greater number of students to pursue their dreams.
Providing Development Opportunities
To ensure that teachers and administrators alike are aware of best practices in teaching STEM, professional development is essential. Because technology continues to advance at an exponential rate, it can sometimes feel overwhelming trying to understand each new concept. While staying up to date is important, what’s even more crucial is an understanding of fundamental concepts like creative problem solving, growth mindsets and intellectual property. These ideas are at the foundation of the most effective STEM curricula. Professional development opportunities that cover these core themes ensure that educators will be able to help their students develop the 21st-century skills they need to thrive in today’s changing world.
Learn More about NIHF’s Professional Development Opportunities!
We at the National Inventors Hall of Fame® (NIHF) are committed to inspiring our nation’s next generation of innovators. Through our education programs, we expose children to a diverse group of innovative role models. Additionally, we offer professional development workshops with insights from our world-changing NIHF Inductees. For more information, we encourage you to visit our website.