- Anesha Santhanam
How to Get Started in STEM
STEM is the acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. Kids who don’t understand the term usually think that you have to be excellent at science and math to be successful in STEM. What students don’t realize is that STEM is an integral part of their daily lives. The alarm clock you use to wake up in the morning, the phone you use to text your friends, the car you use to get to school, and the budget you use to go shopping involves science, technology, engineering, and math. You use STEM every day without even realizing it! Here are some tips on how you can get started in STEM.
Use STEM in School
Getting started in STEM is easy—in fact, most people start right from elementary school. The best way to incorporate STEM in school is to forget the words “science, technology, engineering, and math.” Instead, when your teacher assigns you a project to do, think of ways to present the information in a unique manner. For example, if your Spanish teacher says that she wants you to present five facts about each of your family members in Spanish, then make your presentation a PowerPoint slide show or a video in iMovie. You’re automatically using the T (technology) in STEM! Or maybe your science teacher wants you to represent the dinosaur ages by showing how dinosaurs interacted with both plants and animals. Instead of writing up your answer and making it boring, build a diorama! Now you’re using engineering!
To get into STEM, you have to be self-motivated. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t understand a concept, and don’t feel overwhelmed if you’re doing a lot of work to learn it. Take your passion—what you love, and combine it with STEM to create ideas for projects, careers, and the future. Learn as much as you can, because knowledge is transferable. What you learn in your earlier stages of life is applied to the real world once you grow up. You learn by trying and making mistakes, and striving for perfection enables you to advance your skills one step at a time to create a brighter future for yourself and mankind.
Combine STEM With Your Passion
If you’re interested in a particular subject or activity and it has become your passion, try to incorporate STEM into it. For example, if you love art, try sculpting or building something. This way, you’re combining engineering and art. If you love filming, use a movie-making technology software to make your own movie. Use hands-on kits and projects that cater to your interests, and indirectly, you’ll be learning STEM. Don’t focus on whether the end product is going to be used or if you’re wasting your time. The skills that you gain will evolve into knowledge that you can apply in the future. By combining STEM with your passion, you can turn your passion into your career!
To be inspired, motivated, and to get started, check out our introductory video on the home page of our website, and check out Likeable Computing and Likeable Science to start learning about STEM!