How STEM Courses in Singapore Can Teach Kids 21st Century Skills

How STEM Courses in Singapore Can Teach Kids 21st Century Skills

Over the last few decades, a new education movement has gained steam, one that is geared towards equipping new generations with skills to thrive and succeed in a rapidly evolving digital society. The skills associated with this movement were developed with input from educators, education experts, and business leaders and are popularly known as 21st-century skills.

STEM education is one of the strategies used to arm kids with these essential skills. This article will explore how STEM courses in Singapore can teach kids 21st-century skills.

What Skills will Kids Need to Thrive in the 21st Century?

This new era is marked by unprecedented technological growth and an explosion of readily accessible information. New technologies and tools are emerging rapidly and becoming outdated almost as soon as they hit the market. 

Numerous studies and reports have sought to identify skills needed to navigate such a dynamic socio-economic landscape. These skills often vary in categorisation and interpretation but are broadly similar. According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), these skills include creativity and innovation, critical thinking/problem solving/decision-making, communication, collaboration, information or ICT literacy, citizenship and personal and social responsibility. 

These skills provide a framework for kids to not just perform well in school but also thrive in a world in constant flux and where learning is continuous. It makes sense as a parent to prioritise education that helps kids develop these vital life skills. But what does 21st-century education look like?

The Challenge of Equipping Kids with Skills Through Education

The backbone underpinning 21st-century skills is an education on how to think and behave. In the Ministry of Education’s Framework for 21st Century Competencies and Student Outcomes, respect, responsibility, resilience, integrity, care and harmony are listed as the foundation or core values on which kids can develop competencies necessary for a globalised world. These competencies include self-awareness, self-management, responsible decision-making, social awareness and relationship management.

Progressive education should therefore foster these skills in a way that helps students create conceptual structures for acquiring and using the information in
innovative and unexpected ways. It should also:

  • Help students connect the knowledge they acquire with real-world applications and situations. 
  • Emphasise understanding in a way that allows kids to use knowledge in new ways or build upon what they learn through collaboration with others
  • Grant them an awareness of their thinking processes and encourage them to reflect and continuously re-evaluate the effectiveness of their thinking strategies. 
  • Teach them how to use technology to address challenges and further their own goals – whether it be analysing, organising or sharing what they learn. 
  • Challenge and engage students in solving difficult problems with higher-order thinking and creative exercise of resources that lead to new perspectives and solutions. 
  • Create opportunities for collaborative information gathering, problem-solving, ideation and knowledge exchange. 
  •  Inspire kids to become self-directed learners while equipping them with skills that will help them in their professional and personal lives.

STEM courses are one of the few ways that kids can acquire these important life skills. 

How Can STEM Teach 21st Century Skills

STEM courses epitomise all the values of progressive 21st-century education. The integration of science, technology, engineering and math is the same interdisciplinary application driving new innovations and inventions today. 

According to UNESCO, the aim of taking an integrated or interdisciplinary approach to STEM is to advance and synergise the efforts to equip students with a sturdy theoretical foundation that will enable them to propose innovative solutions to the problems of the world.

STEM courses embody the four C’s in 21st-century skills: creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and communication. In a typical STEM course, students work together to find creative solutions to difficult problems. It requires them to access, analyse and use the information they find to complete their projects. 

Throughout each project, they learn how to communicate, manage their time, collaborate, and be responsible for their work. Investigations challenge them to find and use appropriate tools to navigate the wide sea of digital information to conduct research effectively and efficiently. These experiences impart important life and career skills.

Ready to Equip Your Kids with 21st Century Skills?

STEM Genius is driven by a mission to inspire and nurture a passion for STEM among kids. We place a strong emphasis on the quality of our programs. 

Our curriculums are designed by the Creative Computing Lab at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Our programs incorporate Stanford Design Thinking to nurture creative problem-solving. Our pursuit of high standards of education has enabled us to become the first institution in Singapore to be accredited by STEM.org. 

Enroll your kids in our classes. We have weekly coding classes for ages 4 to 11 and ages 12 to 16. We also have weekly robotics classes for ages 4 to 5 and 6 to 11. To learn more about the STEM Genius curriculum, click here.

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