Tag Archives: STEM

Injecting Creativity into STEM via STEAM

skills gap stem

There’s no doubt STEM (science, technology, math and engineering) is an important subject and one with the potential to mend the ongoing skills gap happening within the manufacturing industry. To date, it’s been thought the key to spreading the word is through continuing exposure to STEM-related classes at an early age and presenting STEM material in a way that makes learning fun.

Elevating STEM

A newer development in the STEM movement is STEAM, providing the addition of creativity to traditional STEM with a dose of the arts. STEAM projects help students to not only think analytically but also inventively. The addition of arts to traditional science, math, engineering and technology is a way to keep the learning fun and encourage brainstorming on another level. Another benefit of STEAM is the addition of a tactile element to traditional STEM exploration. For example, this could include activities such as building a circuit that lights up a tiny LED light or activating a volcano explosion through the chemical reaction of baking soda and vinegar, a perennial favorite.

Looking Beyond Schools

Since the discussion of STEM first came to the forefront, educators, legislators and business leaders have looked to the traditional school setting to build momentum for STEM from an early age. While STEM education is often covered in some form in elementary, middle and high school, another educational resource is stepping to the forefront. The public library, once solely thought of as a repository of books, is becoming a beloved scene for STEAM projects and Maker activities. With a growing number of public libraries offering Maker projects and activities, the library is a natural setting to make traditional learning more fun. In addition to reading about a subject, the STEAM element provides a hands-on, tactile approach to help the learning “stick.” This might include a theme about railroads and bridges where children have the opportunity to build structures out of toothpicks or pieces of dried pasta.

Learning for a Lifetime

These new approaches have the ability to take learning to a new level and make it fun and memorable. It is also a way to encourage exploration and problem solving for a lifetime of learning. This level of curiosity is something offering the ability to elevate traditional STEM work into something that could change the industry in the future through creative thought and innovation.

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Manufacturing Skills Gap Hinges on Better Understanding of STEM

skills gap stem

September is the time for students to head back to school. If you’re someone whose school days are long past, you might be wondering what bearing the schooling of these future generations has on your role as a manufacturer or manufacturing in general. The impact of schools and what students choose to study is directly related to how quickly and how well the existing skills gap in the industry can be filled.

Not Seeing the Opportunities

For years, lawmakers, manufacturers, businesses and academia have tried to come up with various ways to interest students in the study of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) classes. Results of these endeavors continue to produce mixed results, but a new survey conducted by Emerson sheds new light on the subject. The Emerson study found one reason students forego participating in science and math from an early age is because they don’t understand the associated career opportunities.

Demand Grows, Interest Flags

In the midst of some of the highest demand for scientists and engineers, Emerson is calling this a “missed opportunity of a generation.” The survey found 42 percent of respondents would have considered an education in STEM with a better understanding of the potential career path. One in three said they chose not to pursue a STEM career because it seemed too hard.

Considering Presentation

With results like these, it’s easy to hypothesize students were turned off from STEM classwork because it lacked the creativity found in other subjects such as writing and English. Who hasn’t felt that learning things by rote made a subject less fun? If this is the way students receive STEM projects, it’s easier to understand why fewer students choose this path of study and the resulting skills gap for many industries.

Changing the Mindset  

In an effort to highlight the opportunities students have in a variety of STEM-related fields such as manufacturing, engineering and math, Emerson is spreading the work about its “I Love STEM” campaign. The multimedia push features self-proclaimed science nerd and YouTube star Hank Green profiling innovations possible through STEM and the scientists and engineers responsible for them. This is potentially good news for STEM and good news for manufacturers looking for a more technologically inclined workforce.

About CDMC

Located in northeast Ohio, Cleveland Deburring Machine Company (CDMC) is dedicated to providing custom-tailored deburring solutions for gears, sprockets, aerospace and defense, power transmission, powdered metals, fluid power and custom applications. CDMC’s no-charge application evaluation includes a detailed report and process description in as little as 3 to 5 business days. Contact CDMC today for a deburring machine that’s right for you.

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