As an international boarding school whose mission is to give students access to a future without borders, it’s no wonder that EF Academy New York put together a well-rounded and engaging program that gives students experience in these fields. This prepares them for a university degree and a career in the STEAM-aligned future ahead. The STEAM program aims to give students as many opportunities as possible and to lead them to open doors by helping them develop skills like coding or introducing them to other key topics like sustainability.
Overall, STEM occupations are projected to grow faster than the average for all occupations. And wages in these occupations have traditionally been higher than the median for all occupations.
The U.S. National Science and Math Initiative has said: “STEM job creation over the next ten years will outpace non-STEM jobs significantly, growing 17 percent, as compared to 9.8 percent for non-STEM positions.” This is especially true for jobs in computer systems design and related services such as biomedical engineers, network systems, and medical scientists. These all call for degrees in STEM fields.
At EF Academy New York, there’s been a comprehensive and attractive STEM program since 2014. Students can engage with activities like the Environmental Club, “Learn to Code” Club, and Math Club. These clubs and activities help students embrace skills they can use to take the next step when they enter college and the workforce.
The passion for these programs comes from the belief that the STEM program embraces the numerous changes Generation Z is seeing in their lives – whether academically, personally, or in their future career prospects. The goal of the program is to help students start to see how STEM permeates through so much of their lives already.
One of the most rewarding aspects of the program is that students are coming from different backgrounds. While some of them understand computer science, some don’t. This remained a clear focus in developing the program. From day one, the goal has been to be as inclusive as possible and to give them all a starting point to be able to grow.
The U.S. Department of Education has placed a great emphasis on the expansion of STEM programs nationwide. Having a background and knowledge of STEM fields, and then striving for a STEM career, is something that universities and colleges look for in applicants. It’s more important than ever for students to nurture their interest in STEM.
At the Coding Club, students teach their peers and their instructors about the world of web design, app building, and hacking. The Environmental Club is currently focused on educating students about appropriate recycling and reusing techniques to reduce carbon footprints. The Gardening Club is building a garden and members will be responsible for cultivating the plants over the winter with the goal of eventually selling their produce at a farmer’s market.
While very different, these clubs help students expand their knowledge and hone skills – problem-solving, engineering, designing, collaboration, innovative thinking – that are valuable in the 21st century. Students learn how to use their skills to improve society and create new things while becoming aware of how much they already know.
Originally published November 19, 2015.