How the Hong Kong educational system is recognising the importance of STEM in the curriculum
- Aug 16, 2018
The acronym STEM stands for Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. It is a collection of subjects that is seen as being increasingly important to the education of younger children and teenagers. The Hong Kong educational system is beginning to recognise the importance of STEM in a number of different ways.
Why is STEM so important?
It is essential to know why STEM subjects are becoming increasingly important in order to understand what the Hong Kong educational system is doing to recognise its significance and to act upon it. In the preamble of this Hong Kong government document, it is pointed out that STEM education will “better prepare our students for the rapid economic, scientific and technological developments ahead” - the best-paying and most exciting jobs at the moment and in the future are those in STEM fields. For example, in the US, engineers and computer science graduates were expected to make, on average, $64,891 and $61,321 respectively, straight out of university. Now that you understand the importance of STEM, how is the Hong Kong educational system dealing with it?
It is working on making STEM fun
STEM subjects, apart from the fun experiments of science and engineering, do not exactly evoke feelings of fun. That is why the Hong Kong educational system is working on making them more fun and engaging for children. Fun is the gateway to interest. There are lots of ways to make subjects more enjoyable and better able to engage children. For example, computer science includes robotics, and kids tend to like robots. Toys like LEGO are already encouraging budding engineers, and science experiments can be dazzling, as well as educational.
It is encouraging parents to take action
In order to keep youngsters interested in STEM subjects, it isn’t enough for them to only experience them at school. STEM subjects can be hands-on and are well-suited to extra-curricular activities and in the home. In this online article, the author highlights the importance of parents engaging with their children’s STEM activities through games. Parents can buy their children robotics kits which require them to assemble the robots and programme them to perform actions - that combines a number of different skills including problem-solving, critical thinking and coding.
It is promoting high-quality schools
STEM subjects are taught in the best schools and the educational system is recognising that by promoting those schools. There are excellent schools all across Hong Kong, and for expat children, there are some very good international schools across the world in countries that include the US and Switzerland. Stamford American International School of Hong Kong is one such example of a first-class school where children are encouraged to learn STEM subjects.
The Hong Kong educational system is certainly moving in the right direction for its students. It recognises the importance of STEM to children’s futures and is, therefore, promoting the subjects and ensuring that pupils are studying them. In a world of increasing technological dependency, STEM careers offer the brightest opportunities and job security for the next generation.
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