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STEM careers are rewarding but can younger students age 9-15 pursue STEM education?

Published by SchoolAdvisor on May 21, 2019, 08:27 AM

by Katherine Wong, Talent Director

May 18, 2019

Anthony Ng, CEO of MITstem International School, explains the fundamentals and benefits of STEM education in this article.

STEM is the acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Parents are well-aware that STEM subjects are being taught at school, university and that the knowledge and skills acquired are applied at the workplace.

However, a majority of parents think of STEM education as an extra curricular learning activities which is good to have but may not be a compulsory education option. On the other hand, advanced country like Japan is making computer programming to be mandatory subject in Japan's elementaryschools (primary school) from April 2020, as the country seeks to train a new generation in highly sought information technology skills.The basics of coding will be taught starting in the fifth grade. New textbooks task students with digitally drawing polygons and making LED lights blink using simple commands, for example (Nikkei Asian Review, 27 Mar 2019).

Our parents’ current thinking has to change due to dynamic advancement in robotics,machine learning and the Internet of Things (IoT) impacts on 21st century future job requirements. The total installed base of Internet of Things (IoT) connected devices is projected to amount to 75.44 billion worldwide by 2025, a fivefold increase in ten years. The IoT, enabled by the already ubiquitous Internet technology, is the next major step in delivering Internet’s promise of making the world a connected place. The IoT describes the network of devices that are connected via the Internet. Being connected, such smart devices, which include smart home devices such as smart meters and smart locks, are able to share data among each other, providing benefits such as better quality of life and greater insight into business. The next generation mobile connection technology 5G, with a forecasted number of 1.3 billion subscriptions by 2023, would be a major boost for the application of IoT in everyday life (Statistica, 2019) .

MITstem International School is the FIRST and ONLY STEM secondary international school approved by the Ministry of Education Malaysia which provide a comprehensive range of STEM education with General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) from Cambridge University, STEM Certification from STEM.org and/or AdvanceED and Professional Certification from global conglomerate like Bosch Rexroth (Germany), Omron (Japan), FANUC and AUTODESK.

The school offers acomprehensive curriculum that prepares students for life and work in the 21st Century which emphasis on deep understandings of subject matter and the ability to apply what is learnt; the ability to communicate and solve problems in teams; the ability to think critically and to create novel solutions; and flexibility, openness to change and a willingness to learn continually.

Based on World Economic Forum Sep 2018 report, by 2022, 75 million current job roles may be displaced by the shift in the division of labour between humans, machines and algorithms, while 133 million new job roles may emerge at the same time. New and expanding occupations include roles such as Data Analysts, Software and Applications Developers and E-commerce and Social Media Specialists –jobs that are significantly based on, and enhanced by, the use of technology. Therefore, enabling and empowering our children and students have to begin now as the digital future is becoming a reality by 2022 which is only 3 years away.

MITstem invest in 2 groups of teachers, namely Academic Teachers and STEM Teachers to deliver a holistic Cambridge IGCSE together with STEM curriculum. MITstem academic teachers will be teaching and developing English, Maths and Science literacy which emphasise on the ability to identify,understand, interpret, create, communicate and compute, using printed, written and visual materials associated with varying contexts.

Our STEM teachers focus on teaching and developing Information Communication Technology (ICT), Design& Technology knowledge,application and skills which are essential to understand andsolve complex problems by innovating and collaborations withothers.We provide Design, Technology and ICT subjects which focus onComputer Aided Design (CAD), Microcontroller, Microprocessor,Intelligent Sensors,Programming, Coding, Programmable Logic Control (PLC),Pneumatics, Electro-Hydraulic, and Drone pilotingwith ourfully equipped laboratories licensed by Omron, Fanuc, Bosch Rexroth and Autodesk.

TheseSTEM subjects cover 23% of teaching andlearning schedule which is approximately6.6 hours (400 mins) per week.These lessons aim to develop Design Thinking (DT),Computational Thinking (CT) and Higher Order Thinking Skills(HOTS). Students will also be assessed on theoreticalunderstanding and practical competency during the termexaminations which will be held on every April, August andNovember. Cambridge Assessment International Education approves our school to conduct Cambridge Lower Secondary Checkpoint and Cambridge IGCSE examinations in our school for Year 9 and Year 10-11 students. The examinations papers will be sent to the UK for marking and grading.

For students who wish to pursue our STEM Technology Programme on Fri and Sat on weekly basis can also enrol for our 100 hours, 200 hours and 500 hours technology programme which can be completed within 1 to 2 years duration. Upon completion of 500 hours, the student will be awarded with internationally recognised STEM.org certification from the U.S.

We welcome you to our school for Saturday Technology Trial Sessions. Kindly RSVP via Whatsapp at 012-3830347 or visit our official website www.mitstem.edu.my.

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