Developing Critical Thinking Skills by Combining STEM with Scientific Discoveries

STEM

Most people around the world know STEM as a combination of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. There are recruitments of many students who know STEM skills taking place in different STEM fields and STEM careers. 

Many science teachers who need to prepare for the lectures the night before, are anxious and think about different ways to make the class interesting for the students. However, not all teachers have access to the same kind of tools and technology. 

  • Some teachers are experts in science, while some others are just starting fresh.
  • Some teachers have access to advanced technologies like augmented reality, virtual reality, marker spaces with 3D printers, while some only have access to basic technologies. 
  • Some schools have science labs that are well-equipped with the latest equipment and tools like high-power fluorescent microscopes, volumetric flasks, incubators, while others do not. 

All learners need to develop critical thinking; STEM learning has the potential to do that. However, the development of critical thinking is not completely dependent on access to only state-of-the-art technologies and infrastructure. Another effective way to instill critical thinking in students is to make them familiar with history – scientific discoveries and science stories.

Historical reconstruction – A great way to STEM learning

  • The concept of STEM was born by the integration of four key academic disciplines – science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
  • In the real world, all these disciplines work seamlessly in synchronization with each other.
  • In order to train STEM learners to be future scientists and technology leaders, it is important for them to know about the past.
  • If students know the history behind scientific discoveries, they can understand how science actually works and how experiments are conducted.
  • When students are encouraged to explore various scientific discoveries, it broadens their outlook. They get to learn about the causes and effects of different scientific discoveries.

Science stories – Making STEM learning fun and interesting

  • Telling science stories and scientific discoveries to STEM learners is a great way to foster critical thinking.
  • Teaching STEM by reconstructing history can be effectively done through science stories.
  • Narrating scientific stories has a tremendous impact on the minds of STEM learners.
  • Science stories last in the mind for a long time and make dull and difficult concepts interesting and exciting.
  • Science stories involving scientific discoveries enable STEM learners to understand how an invention made in the past is creating an impact in the present world.
  • Science stories foster holistic development and learning amongst students.

By making the learners familiar with discoveries such as the clock and how it gave a boost to life, or the invention of the first computer and how it transformed human thinking, STEM learners get to know how the impact of technology influences life and shapes our culture.

  • In this way, science stories of the past can help expand STEM beyond its boundaries and limitations to interconnect it with various other disciplines and fields.

Molding the future by using past scientific discoveries

  • An effective way to promote critical thinking in students is to deeply explore technology.
  • Students need to think about scientific discoveries and inventions that they use today. Teachers can play a key role in this.
  • This will help them understand how scientific discoveries in the past are making an impact on our lives today.
  • Students can create a list of the changes that technology has brought in, not just in the material world but also in the belief systems and human mindset. 
  • For example, students can take something as simple as exploring the way the internet has changed our lives. The Internet has significantly transformed the way we do things. Whether it is paying utility bills, listening to songs, watching videos, or booking a cab, the internet has made everything possible.

Today’s students are going to be the future stakeholders of organizations and leaders in their own respective fields. Hence, it is important for them to develop critical thinking so as to see the world more clearly around them. Science stories and scientific discoveries of the past are a perfect pathway for them to see what lies in the future.

 

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