STAY FUTURE READY
From nurturing leadership skills to challenging status quo, STEM subjects prepare students to stay ahead of the curve
History has shown how a nation’s socio-economic growth is strongly correlated with its technological innovation calibre. Our time on Earth is governed by apps. With technology defining one’s basic choices in when, where, and what to eat, wear or live, STEM subjects—science, technology, engineering, mathematics can no longer be seen as options to drop at school. Since 2000, the OECD countries have been measuring the school learning outcomes, not based on the traditional frameworks, but on students’ performance on science, mathematics, problem-solving, financial literacy and reading. OECD publishes country-wise results (PISA results) every three years, ranking their youth’s preparedness to meet the challenges of today’s knowledge societies.
Being STEM-savvy is essential to support one’s basic need—of not being left out in a fast paced world. Top three reasons why mathematics and science-related subjects must be given their due at schools.
TO MAKE COOL CAREER CHOICES
The highest paying and the most intellectually challenging jobs of the future will be up for those who think abstractly, comprehend complex ideas, learn quickly and don’t shy away from failure—all attributes that are sharpened by STEM training. Illustration TANMOY CHAKRABORTY
TO BE THOUGHT SHAPERS One is said to have emerged as a leader from the crowd if she/he is able to comprehend and successfully lead the crowd out of tricky situations. Commonly referred to as ‘making sense’ of things, or ‘figuring out’ what to do—these are essentials of leadership, and the key outcomes of nurturing one’s analytical skills. STEM education at school prepares one at problem-solving, a universal life skill. One may experiment or permanently crossover to pursue a career outside of science.
TO ENCOURAGE UNIVERSALISM
Science builds the spirit to question status quo, and the courage to accept and manage change. Its basic tenets include universalism and objectivism, an approach that can sort the current world order in a jiffy. Here is a simple self-test to prove that. Pull out a one line definition of Darwin’s theory of evolution, and read aloud to yourself. Does it make you question the futile basis of the political turmoil in today’s world? Does it make you appreciate humanism, and realise the functional irrelevance of factors, such as gender, race, outward appearance, disability, nationality, or religious affiliation? STEM education hones analytical aptitude. This aptitude is not lived in spirits and full potential if used selectively at one’s job, and not in one’s outlook to life and the living.
SHEETAL RANGANATHAN Global VP, Head of Life Sciences & Healthcare Operations, Evalueserve, Delhi