January 31, 2022
In a study carried out by the U.S. Department of Commerce, it was discovered that STEM occupations have grown at a faster pace (24%) than regular occupations (4%) over the years. Now more than ever, skilled & knowledgeable individuals are needed to fill ever-growing roles in the STEM education sphere. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, but it's more than that. STEM has grown to represent a unique approach to teaching and learning, one that centers around individual students’ learning styles and interests. This simply means STEM education has something to offer for every student. Each component of STEM plays a role in sectors such as designing roads & bridges, changing weather conditions, exploring other occupations, and much more. It is this increased globalization & digitization that has made STEM a vital part of education. It benefits everyone across genders, ethnic groups, locations, fields, and much more. Starting while the kids are much younger helps normalize the concept and helps them transition easily to their learning. AI (Artificial Intelligence) has its own role to play in STEM education for K-12 & ML (Machine Learning) is poised to uplift STEM education in schools.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a research field that studies how to realize intelligent human behaviors on a computer. The ultimate goal of AI is to make a computer that can learn, plan and solve problems autonomously. The prerequisites of AI aspirants are knowledge of probability, statistics, automation, and basic programming languages. Although AI has been studied for over half a century, we still cannot make a computer that is as intelligent as a human in all aspects. In some cases, the computer-equipped AI technology can be more intelligent than us, the Deep Blue system which defeated the world chess champion is a well-known example. Major research topics in AI include-
And the list is exhaustive. These topics are closely related to each other like- the knowledge acquired through learning can be used both for problem-solving and for reasoning. Further, both Natural language understanding and computer vision can be solved using methods developed in the field of pattern recognition. You also study the most fundamental knowledge for understanding AI, by introducing some basic algorithms for problem-solving, knowledge representation & reasoning; pattern recognition; fuzzy logic & neural networks.
According to the National Science Foundation, “In the 21st century, scientific and technological innovations have become increasingly important as we face the benefits and challenges of both globalization and a knowledge-based economy.” Leading countries churning out the maximum STEM professionals are the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, Germany, Switzerland, Ireland, and Spain.
This gives us enough grounding to talk about the role AI is playing in STEM education for students worldwide. Several techniques have been employed to use AI to give students a personalized learning experience and a simpler way to adopt STEM skills. From being able to assess the student's weaknesses and strengths through diagnostic testing, AI is employed to create personalized curricula based on the individual needs of students. AI applications are equally targeted at providing support and tutoring outside the classroom and connecting kids that may be unable to attend regular classes. Several AI skills and software help in creating an adaptive STEM curriculum on all STEM subjects. They’re used across K-12 education range, future studies and applications all focus on STEM made-easy approach with AI and ML as the pilots. Further AI applications also work towards gauging the well-being & emotional support quotient of students.
AI and ML are expected to assist and enable proper STEM education for both students and teachers alike. At the same time, suggestions have been made towards worldwide or inter-school connections. STEM is impacting the world and with AI, everything seems possible. AI can be connected to different classrooms across the world to foster greater communication, cooperation, and collaboration between schools, nations, and educators.
STEM is now and the future. The World Economic Forum estimates that by 2022, a high number of organizations and companies would have employed ML, hence it encourages governments to focus strongly on empowering students with education and AI skills. A recent study by Microsoft discovered that by 2030, students should have mastered the following to be able to survive in the new world:
It’s time to delve into the critical challenges that STEM faces with the adoption of AI:
Here are the benefits of AI in STEM education
ver the last few years, conversations about automation have shifted focus from the elimination of jobs to augmentation. As the world further moves towards integrating AI and ML tools into STEM education, companies are also moving to update the workforce. According to LinkedIn, the identification and assessment of skill gaps is currently the largest focus area for talent developers. The recent reports may shock some STEM grads who for years have been practically guaranteed high-paying work after graduation. All but two of the 20 highest-paying college majors are in some kind of engineering occupation and the STEM college majors have higher median incomes and lower unemployment rates as compared to the generals. AI provides a wide array of job roles ranging from business intelligence developers to AI engineers, big data engineers, robotics scientists, and what not. Being a graduate or an under-grad won’t help you in reaching your AI role goals, hence investing in long-standing credible AI certifications from the seasoned industry players would definitely land you a job role that is not only promising but also opens huge opportunities for diversifying your domain expertise.