STEM: an innovative approach to education in Mexico
STEM education provides students with important skills and abilities - Photo: Patricia Morales/EL UNIVERSAL

STEM: an innovative approach to education in Mexico

EL UNIVERSAL in English/Gretel Morales
Mexico City
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STEM education is a worldwide trend that includes the incorporation of science, technology, engineering, and math into curricular and extracurricular education

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STEM education is a worldwide trend that includes the incorporation of science, technology, engineering, and math into curricular and extracurricular education. This education system focuses on experiencing and applying knowledge, in order to create key abilities for the 21st century, such as solving complex problems, gathering evidence, and using information effectively, which are essential for innovation, sustainable development, and social well-being.

Incorporating these abilities into education could be key to change the world for the better. According to the United Nations, the generation between 9 and 19 years is the first one who could end extreme poverty and the last one who has the chance to end climate change.

As the world changes, so do jobs. It's expected that by 2020, automation will replace 5% of the jobs in the world and 45% of the activities at working places. This would affect 7.1 million workers all over the world, but it would also generate 2.1 new working positions that would require new abilities and digital skills.

Therefore, it is essential that sciences and technology are taught from an early age, in order to guide children in Mexico, so they can develop the best skills and abilities to improve their communities.

Gender Perspective. In regards to gender, in Mexico, only 8% of women study degrees related to STEM education, compared to 27% among men. Therefore, it's essential to include a gender perspective to this program, so that Mexican girls, teenagers, young women have new education and employment opportunities and realize how important is their role in society, which won't be determined by sexism or discrimination.

In Mexico, the Alliance for the Promotion of STEM, AP-STEM, is comprised by Mexico's Business Coordinating Council, the Executive Council of Global Enterprises, American Chamber/Mexico, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Mexico, The Software Alliance; coordinated by Movimiento STEM.
As a result of Mexico's educational and technology needs, AP-STEM is committed to improving education in Mexico by designing an effective strategy to train teachers in STEM, so that it reaches every student in the country.

The project also includes strengthening the links between businesses, industries, working centers, museums, public spaces, and schools, in order to provide education that is much more experiential and close to the real world. These would be achieved through the implementation of academic stays, internships, mentorships, research projects, among other strategies.

Last week, Javier Jiménez Espriú, the Minister of Communications and Transports, said that "In the 4th Transformation we are going to do whatever it takes to develop the country, build infrastructure and communications, attract young people towards science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, STEM, to build technological abilities for our country."

In this day and age, STEM education is not only necessary in Mexico because of the changing demands in the industries, but also because it will change the course of education and improve Mexico in several areas. STEM will also provide a great window of opportunity for girls to explore science and technology fields, which are male-dominated.


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