Why Should You Consider STEM Courses in High School for Your Child?
Although math and science students enjoy STEM, every high school student can benefit from STEM courses. Discover four ways that STEM prepares students for life!
Should every high school student take advantage of STEM courses? In short, yes. Nearly every facet of life depends on science, technology, engineering, and/or mathematics, and practical knowledge of these subjects can prepare graduates for the 21st century. Whether students prefer humanities, fine arts, foreign language, science, or math, everyone can benefit from STEM courses in high school.
This article will explore four compelling reasons why students should enroll in STEM courses:
- Improved Problem-Solving Abilities
- Enhanced Communication & Collaboration
- Confidence to Adapt to Change
- College & Career Readiness
Benefits of STEM in High School
According to the U.S. Department of Education, young people need the “skills to solve problems, make sense of information, and know how to gather and evaluate evidence to make decisions.” Indeed, as future leaders, they will face increasingly complex problems, but a working knowledge of STEM can help.
Right now, high school students can enroll in robust STEM courses, expanding their understanding of the world as they develop important life skills.
1. Improved Problem-Solving Abilities
Normally, STEM courses rely on hands-on activities to teach a logical, systematic approach to problem-solving; as a result, the projects and interactive assignments ignite curiosity.
Additionally, STEM courses strengthen critical thinking as students learn to analyze a problem sequentially: identifying the root problem, proposing a hypothesis, testing theories, recording data, evaluating trends, and positing a sustainable solution.
More importantly, STEM courses can be fun, especially when students have time to “tinker.” Some experts believe that tinkering can lead to “deep, firsthand learning about scientific concepts” as students begin to formulate questions, assess the evidence, then generate valid responses.
STEM in high school should reflect “experiential learning,” and at Marlborough, we stir the imagination with courses, such as Honors Research in Science, or VTV Broadcast and Video Production, or Design for Social Impact: An Interdisciplinary Exploration in Entrepreneurship, Social Justice, and Technology.
2. Enhanced Communication & Collaboration
When students enroll in STEM courses in high school, they have recurring opportunities to enhance communication, especially through active listening and formal presentations.
Additionally, students in STEM classes may collaborate on projects; thus, students learn to demonstrate patience and empathy, leadership, and inclusion. As they create lasting relationships, they transform the classroom into a safe, energetic, and interactive learning environment.
At Marlborough, students learn how to communicate and collaborate in each of our STEM courses, including Computer Science Projects and Computer Science Projects Honors, as well as clubs, such as The Investment Club, The Remote Car Club, and The Science Olympiad.
3. Confidence to Adapt to Change
For many teenagers, change can feel unsettling, especially if the individual is trying to acquire a new skill. Still, STEM in high school invites students to take calculated, incremental risks that build confidence.
Meanwhile, these same students often discover the value of setbacks. Instead of equating obstacles with personal failure, they find that complications or delays can build resilience and flexibility.
Whenever students embrace the learning process, which includes trial and error, they develop grit, determination, and courage.
At Marlborough, our students gain confidence and learn to adapt in STEM-inspired courses, such as Digital Storytelling, Music Video: An Introduction to Production, and Introduction to Research.
4. College & Career Readiness
Once students realize that STEM in high school means STEM for everyone, they are free to augment their education with unconventional classes that ignite new ideas.
Subsequently, STEM teachers may assign certain projects that require self-paced work, thus preparing students for independent tasks in college and career.
At Marlborough, students learn to work individually and in groups in our STEM classes. This combined approach, then, produces confident, respectful graduates who know how to manage their time. Additionally, they learn to identify their strengths, interests, and goals, readying them for careers.
Types of STEM Programs for High School Students
According to current projections, STEM jobs will continue to expand; by 2027, computing, engineering, and advanced manufacturing will dominate the market. Moreover, STEM-related companies lead the nation in well-paying jobs.
Consequently, motivated students who register for STEM in high school could land exciting jobs with trailblazing companies and organizations. Consider the following STEM programs currently available to high school students.
Science: A detailed study of the natural world, with its complexities and intricacies, can stir the imagination, and in many instances, students who enjoy STEM in high school end up pursuing science-based careers that help shape society.At Marlborough, students can enroll in science courses, including Exploring Science I & II, Biology I & II, AP Biology, Human Anatomy & Physiology, Chemistry I & II, Honors Chemistry, AP Chemistry, Physics, Honors Physics, AP Environmental Science, Science of Food, and Honors Research in Science.
Technology: From Alexa to Xbox, technology has changed dramatically over the past ten years; smart technology is shaping the next generation of phones, thermostats, refrigerators, televisions, speakers, and watches. Indeed, emerging technology in every field continues to impact the way that people study, conduct business, travel, and socialize.At Marlborough, high school students use cutting-edge technology in technology-based courses, such as Computer Programming I & II, AP Computer Science A, and Beginning, Intermediate, Advanced, or Senior Thesis Filmmaking.
Engineering: Currently, there are more than 25 areas of study in engineering, including civil, mechanical, chemical, electrical, biomedical, and software engineering.Marlborough provides an excellent entry point to engineering through STEM courses and clubs, including Engineering Design & Analysis, AP Physics C: Mechanics & Electricity & Magnetism, Robotics, or Remote Car Club.
Mathematics: Every day, people apply mathematics principles, whether balancing a budget, calculating the distance between two locations, purchasing a house, or baking a cake. Math is also a basic building block for other STEM fields.At Marlborough, students benefit from a full range of rigorous math courses, including Pre-Algebra, Algebra I, Algebra II with Trigonometry, Algebra II with Trigonometry Honors, Geometry, Honors Geometry, Precalculus, Precalculus Honors, Precalculus Honors Accelerated, Calculus, AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, or Honors Multivariable Calculus & Differential Equations.
A Commitment to STEM in the Classroom
To prepare students for the 21st century, a school must provide up-to-date technology in each of its STEM classes.
Additionally, students should use tablets, laptops, or desktop computers to take notes, create charts, and presentations.
Finally, students should be able to access reliable, online educational sites for research.
At Marlborough, we meet each of these requirements. We furnish our classrooms and labs with state-of-the-art technology; an excellent example is the Academic Resource Center (ARC), which contains the School's library, educational and administrative technology services, IT, and programs in Honors Research, Robotics, Computer Science, Media, and Entrepreneurship.
Questions to Ask When Considering STEM Courses in High School
Before enrolling a student in various classes, parents should ask about the school’s STEM program. For instance:
What are students doing in your STEM courses?
At Marlborough, students are learning to think like scientists; they collaborate, research, experiment, log findings, envision solutions, and implement a detailed plan. Since STEM students are not passive learners, they actively engage in lessons that prompt investigation, deliberation, debate, and cooperation. For instance, our award-winning robotics teams demonstrate this kind of passion for STEM.
Do you offer opportunities to pursue STEM education outside the classroom?
At Marlborough, we offer Capstone Honors Programs, which function like internships, providing valuable experience while building relationships with mentors and professionals in the field. An example of this is the STEM-related Entrepreneurship course, Design for Social Impact: An Interdisciplinary Exploration in Entrepreneurship, Social Justice, and Technology.
The Importance of STEM for ALL High School Students
Certainly, many graduates choose STEM majors in college, including medicine, computer programming, web design, app development, engineering, and systems analysis. By contrast, other students gravitate to business, education, journalism, or the arts. Nevertheless, everyone, regardless of career path, can benefit from a background in STEM.
Emerging jobs here and abroad depend on STEM skills, and high school students should seize the opportunity to develop competency in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Why Choose Marlborough?
Marlborough serves girls in grades 7 through 12. As a private, college-preparatory secondary school, we are conveniently located in the heart of Los Angeles, California.
Our goal is to ignite intellectual inquiry and to build the problem-solving, creativity, collaboration, and communication skills that students need to succeed in the 21st century.
If you want your daughter to become a curious, agile thinker, consider Marlborough. Our outstanding educational program prepares young people for college and beyond.
Want to know more about the Marlborough experience?