There may be things you’ve been told about STEM that aren’t actually true. The many myths surrounding STEM education, especially in how it relates to younger students, can seem reasonable, but we’re here to show that some of what you’ve heard is simply false.
5 Common Misconceptions
Victoria Clayton of District Administration wrote an article that outlines five common myths people believe about implementing STEM education into the curriculum of younger students. Read her article, STEM Education Myths in Early Grades, or check out our summary below if you’re short on time.
Myth #1: STEM overwhelms young learners
Clayton presents that the mix of “science, technology, engineering, and math,” can seem like too much for young learners to take in, but she argues that this is completely contrary to the truth. The younger generation is more comfortable with handling technology than any that came before them, making them perfectly capable of learning STEM.
Myth #2: STEM overwhelms elementary school teachers
Sometimes, these teachers do not feel fully prepared to teach STEM, but thanks to training programs, gradual implementation, and premade STEM lessons, any educator can learn the skills necessary to teach the subject with confidence.
Myth #3: We don't have time for STEM
This is not necessarily true, as STEM topics can be integrated into other subjects without taking away from them. “…STEM never takes time away from another subject. It simply becomes a part of whatever else you’re teaching or doing,” writes Clayton.
Myth #4: We don't have money for STEM
There’s no doubt that STEM can be expensive, but having 3D printers and other advanced machines is not the only way to teach STEM. Many schools incorporate inexpensive resources such as recycled tech or common items like cardboard and paper.
Myth #5: The correct order is basics first, then STEM
Clayton writes that “to conclude that students must master basic math facts in order to advance to STEM is to buy into an outmoded learning model.” Waiting to teach STEM can have detrimental effects on students, and even dissuade from thinking they can be “scientists, programmers or engineers.”
There are plenty of concerns that people have when they consider teaching STEM to young students, but many of these are misplaced. Read Clayton’s full article here and get an in-depth view of these common misconceptions.