The importance of children learning and expanding skills in STEM subjects is increasing all the time. There is a need for graduates with experience and qualifications in STEM subjects. A greater push towards teaching STEM and encouraging children in these areas of education can increase the likelihood of them being employed in a good job with great career prospects.
Introducing STEM learning into your curriculum is obviously the first and foremost way you can encourage greater emphasis on these subjects. However, there is still more you can do. There is a wide range of different STEM challenges and competitions held throughout the year aimed at school children. Not only do these focus on the core subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics – they also encourage children to hone their practical skills, work as a team and increase their confidence.
Depending on what is best for the students in your school, you could arrange for children to take part in these competitions either via special STEM clubs or as part of their coursework.
Popular STEM Competitions
There are various STEM competitions to choose from, but to give you an idea of what is out there, we have highlighted three of the most prominent.
Ultimate STEM Challenge
Students between the ages of 11 and 14 can take part in the Ultimate STEM Challenge. There are three different challenges to choose from, each (this year) with sustainability as the theme.
CanSat is basically a real satellite simulation within the shape and size of a regular sized soft drink can. This competition offers students from the ages of 14 to 19 to gain practical experience in a project related to space.
Cisco Little Big Futures
Cisco Little Big Futures is a series of lessons that last an hour and different five-hour challenges covering various areas of STEM. This is ideal for your school’s STEM clubs if they are looking to make good use of the IoT – also known as the Internet of Things.
The resources used in these challenges are future tech that will soon become part of our day to day lives and allows your students the chance to explore careers education while taking a more creative approach to learning.
Classroom Displays – Primary and Secondary Levels
Classroom Display Competitions are increasing in popularity and in order to enter you have to share photographs and wall displays. As well as winning gift vouchers worth £50, it is also great for inspiring others and could help save them some time solving problems they face.
Obviously, the displays can’t just be about anything but should focus on a project or something connected to Science, Technology Engineering, Mathematics. There also needs to be a comprehensive description of what is displayed.
STEM is a necessary part now of school education, or at least it should be. STEM competitions are an effective way to inspire children in these subjects and push them to push themselves. When they see what they can achieve related to STEM, it opens their minds to what they could do when they are ready to leave school.