Why should we introduce children to STEM subjects?

how early should children be introduced to stem subjects

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics make up the popular phrase, STEM. The larger question is what does combining these skills really mean and why is it important?

The adoption and learning of STEM skills relate directly to the career prospects of STEM-related occupations. There is a clear year on year increase in the number of STEM jobs becoming available – in 2011 approximately 5.2 million jobs in the U.S. required STEM skills and this has continued to grow to a reported 7.3 million in 2018. This is merely the tip of the iceberg, as we see a forecast of exponential growth into the foreseeable future as an investment into infrastructure and technological innovation are key driving factors.

Whilst these stats are impressive, it is another topic of discussion that has caught our eye; as university becomes an expensive prospect on route to a successful career, it is STEM skills and the jobs relating to those that are offering considerable prospects to those who wish to pursue a different path. In the report “The Hidden STEM Economy” it explores interesting examples where approximately half of all STEM jobs are available to those without a higher education degree, and furthermore offer an average pay 10% higher than jobs available to those with similar educational backgrounds.

With this information, we see there are a growing number of jobs becoming available, combined with a lower reliance on investing in higher education and a skills gap that some report to nearly 40% of jobs in 2023 not being filled. Looking at these numbers alone investing in STEM from an educational perspective seems like a great bet!

There are a number of fantastic tools and resources available now to help children develop STEM skills from an early age and it is in the previous releases that we’ve looked into exactly the benefit of introducing children at a young age to STEM skills and Guided Play. A few highlights from these include:

As children go through their key developmental phase, between the ages of 1 and 5 years old, it is argued and agreed by Tech Will Save Us that as soon as the concepts being introduced by STEM skills can be understood, they should be introduced accordingly. This has been regularly promoted within schools across the globe as children aged 4-5 years old are being introduced to STEM learning in different shapes and forms, whether it be entry-level programming or simply guided play around construction and inventions – it adds towards the journey of learning and implementing these skills and then potentially generating interest outside a school-led environment. 

As a parent of a child not yet attending school or nursery, the simple introduction of educational toy brands in the home can have a positive impact on how they adopt the key learnings of STEM later on in their development.