An important part of student engagement in STEM education is the ability to show connection with what students are learning and the real world. This shows them the relevance of what they are studying. When shown through a workforce-centered lens, students can gain even more from what they are learning. In this post we will look at how making these career connections can benefit students in your STEM classroom.
For more information about how to make career connections in your classroom, check out this resource: Making Career Connections in the STEM Classroom.
Exposure to New Interest Areas
In the STEM classroom, it is important to incorporate a variety of STEM careers as examples, avoiding the obvious career options that have been over-used. By requiring students to look at different types of STEM careers, they will likely learn about ones they have never even heard of before. This may encourage students to refine their career goals and find new interest areas within STEM to pursue. By taking this approach, students may become engaged while en route to discovering their dream STEM job.
Connection of Concepts to Careers
Through the connection to careers, students could develop a deeper understanding of the material they are learning. Students will be able to see how the concept or lab they are doing connects to the world outside of middle school or high school, boosting their desire to learn the material, as well as giving them something to reference to explain why what they’re learning is significant.
Preparation for the Future
Further, by shaping the skills they are learning to specific career fields, students will be better prepared for when they study more advanced versions in future classes or once they are in the workforce. Students will be gearing the skills they have an opportunity to learn now to what they want to pursue in their futures, making them more prepared in the workforce.
There’s nothing to lose. Look into all the STEM careers out there and incorporate them into your classroom examples to offer students a deeper understanding of materials and future career options.