Tell why the usual school subjects will soon be replaced by a design education system.

Educational methodology STEM (or STEAM) today called the most modern and promising trend in education. This approach is increasingly practiced in most Western countries.

About what salt concept, what are its advantages and differences from a classical education and who is raising technique, “Latimore” said Nargiz Asadova, master program “management of education” Inobe HSE, the founder of the school of the professions of the future, Crashpro and producer of the summer science and IT school Exupery.

Nargis has long been closely familiar with the technique STEM/STEAM, launches this summer a new educational project with its use and convinced that in a modern school without project-based learning on the system of STEM/STEAM is not enough.

Especially if we want our children to compete on a global level.

What is STEM/STEAM education

The acronym STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) in English translation means the synthesis of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. In recent years, many also add to this abbreviation, the letter A (arts), which means different types of arts: Humanities, foreign languages, new media, painting, dancing, theatre, music, etc.

What about STEM /STEAM education and why is it important?

STEM/TEAM-education is a modern educational phenomenon. It aims to develop the students thinking and highly organized to teach the effective application of knowledge in such disciplines as science, technology, engineering, math and art through project-based learning.

“Stop, stop, stop! — you might say. — What’s new? In our school all that long ago taught. There are lessons in music, ART, words, mathematics, physics, chemistry, Informatics”.

However, in practice, in the school system these items leave isolated knowledge in the mind of our children.

Even such related disciplines as history and geography, are rarely linked, and the modern student will hardly show on the actual world map places the key historical events in its internal educational communication device between different kinds of subjects, almost none.

The absence of such logical connections between school subjects affects the decision of vital tasks: they teach a number of unrelated knowledge will be difficult to find a use for them in life.

It is no coincidence that the international programme on the assessment of educational achievements of pupils PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) shows that Russian students are struggling to cope with unusual life-tasks, where it is necessary to apply the received theoretical knowledge — this skill in children and adolescents is not fulfilled.

However, such a problem exists not only in Russia.

In the early twenty-first century educators around the world are thinking about how to develop a new approach to learning that would allow children to see interdisciplinary connections and apply them in practice.

That is what got STEM/TEAM:

education that does not teach to separate subjects, and it allows you to assimilate them in conjunction with each other within implementation of complex training projects.

So, as part of a school project on issues related to water purification, for example, there is a place knowledge in mathematics and chemistry, biology and practicing social skills, and emotional intelligence.

Who needs STEM/STEAM education

On the origin of this approach in the world of educational practice has been influenced by three factors:

1) Global changes in the economy, its robotization and digitalization. The industrial economy is giving way to the knowledge economy.

For example, in 2018, Apple’s profits exceeded the GDP of Russia.

2) This resulted in changes in the labour market. Now in all countries there is a shortage of engineers and programmers.

3) the Realization that mankind in the near future may be faced with technological and environmental disasters, which require new and creative approaches to problem solving and a large number of people with scientific and technical knowledge. All of this requires a completely different training of the future workforce.

This need to realize the leaders of most countries. STEM/TEAM-education has become a priority of national educational policy in Singapore and Japan, China and Finland, the USA and Canada. In Russia this trend began in the 2010s, with the support of the President of the Russian Federation, domestic and foreign high-tech companies.

In 2014 in Russia, a network of engineering centers (quantonium, fab labs in universities and Zmits center “Sirius”).

Today scientific and technical projects conducted largely within the framework of additional education.

Country, occupying the first ranks in the global rankings for quality of education, went even further. Of course, fab labs and other technological centers there also exist. But it is believed that the new approach STEM/TEAM should be the basis of school education.

In Russia, the discussion is on the level, needless to add to the curriculum such subjects as robotics, or how to reform the lesson of technology. Some schools appear engineering classes, which intensively teach the same mathematics, physics and computer science as separate subjects.

At this time the top ranking PISA countries (China, Singapore, Japan, Finland, Canada are the first line of the rating) are working to create an integrated STEM/STEAM programs for all students.

This means that mathematics, physics, chemistry, programming, drawing, languages do not live by themselves, as if in separate boxes and combined into one educational program.

Children master them, working on a project where blending all of these disciplines.

At the same time a theoretical abstract knowledge acquire specific features and scope of application, and hence fixed better. And emotional impact from this study is much higher, which also affects the successful absorption of material.

How does the STEM/STEAM education

Training in STEM/STEAM class is always an attempt to solve a real problem. Students work in teams, explore, experiment, create designs, promote their products in social networks, creating websites and cartoons.

An example of a STEAM project can be the study of the problem of pollution of the Earth with disposable plastic.

High school students can explore which types of plastic are, how long different plastic decomposes, and offer their solutions to the problem.

In one of the schools this decision was the creation of the production of biodegradable plastic. In the framework of this project the pupils developed their method of creating packages of potato starch (chemistry + maths). And also actively promoted its development in social networks and online platforms (new media, copywriting).

Potential standard STEM/STEAM program could be Leonardo da Vinci — the man who saw the relationship in the vaults of cathedrals and the structure of human feet, which was equally good as a painter, and as an engineer-inventor.

STEAM for schools gives students the opportunity to learn creatively, using the skills of the XXI century, such as communication, ability to work in teams, apply critical and creative thinking.

Realizing the benefits of this approach, the U.S. government has included in its new educational standards (Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards) STEM/STEAM project-based learning as the basic method of teaching in schools. Australia, Canada and Singapore did it before.

STEM/STEAM education in my practice

The last five years of my life, I was involved in organizing different workshops and educational programmes of additional education for children and adolescents.

For example, we have made teenagers the project on creation of videos devoted to the important issue like HIV/AIDS, in cooperation with the Fund “Children+” (about the project: roller:

In the last few months the STEM/STEAM approach and project-based learning became the Central educational techniques in my new project — the summer school Exupery in Latvia (the founder of Russian IT-entrepreneur Elena Buyanova).

Here teenagers 10-15 years will be to solve the global problems of mankind, proclaimed by the United Nations: shortage of drinking water on the planet, global climate change, pollution with plastic waste, hunger and so on.

Together with teachers from research universities of Europe the students will seek solutions to these problems. In the modern scientific and digital laboratories they will create cartoons, programming in Python, to design and launch the drones to develop a water purification system and create a large scale installation on socially important topics.

The program is the language of international communication is English.

Thus, we look at the global problems of mankind from several angles — from the perspective of science, technology and art. That is, in full accordance with the ideology of STEM/STEAM education. Because this approach is crucial for the development of the competencies required to meet future challenges.

Photo: Shutterstock/VOSTOCK

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