Putting the M in STEM Education

What is STEM? STEM is an acronym used to reflect four key elements in education, which are Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Can you name a few careers that are linked to STEM? A few that come to mind are Engineering, Architecture, Computer Programming and Chemistry, but did you know that hundreds of STEM careers span beyond the few listed earlier? For example, STEM careers can be in Zoology, Biology, Forestry, and Physics.

With the hundreds of varying career paths linked to STEM, there is one thing they all have in common – Mathematics! Math is the root of all things sciences.

I would like you to figure out this math problem in one minute. What is…

4×4+4×4+4-4×4? Go!

How did you feel about that math problem? Excited to get started, anxious that you weren’t going to get it right, determined to get it done, uninterested as you had better things to do, hopeless as there was no way you feel like you will get it correct? These are all types of emotions that students feel when presented with a math problem. By the way, the answer is 20. How did you do? How does that make you feel?

Our opinion and attitude towards math is fostered by a number of different things that all play a part in how we think (and feel!) about math, from the thoughts of our friends, family, and educators to our own personal failures and successes.

Here are some ways to help students continue in math.Attitude – how students feel about math makes all the difference. By 3^{rd} grade, students have a firm attitude towards math. Those that feel good about math in 1^{st} grade tend to still feel good about it in 10^{th}

- Time – we spend 18% of our academic time in school on math compared to 40% on reading and language arts and 20% between history and science. But according to two st

dies tracking 20,000 kindergarteners and reviewing reading scores in 32 states plus DC showed that the moretime spent on math improved reading, social skills, and math. - Make it interesting – dropout rates amongst teenagers are reduced for classrooms where game play is included. Girls were more interested in continuing in mathematics, and achievement gap and stress is reduced in classrooms that game play is included.

As you can see from the examples listed above, keeping the M in STEM relevant and engaging in math with fun activities is key for growing minds. For anyone interested in adding creative play to math, MANGO

Math makes it easy. Learn more about Mango Math’s crates for K-5 and pre-algebra or order your own crate today