If you’re a parent of a student, or an educator, or even a student or recent graduate yourself, you’ve likely been hearing a steady drumbeat of “STEM education” for the past 10 years, if not longer. As a whole, US education has really stepped up to incorporate STEM into all aspects of learning; it should be a relief to many parents that these opportunities are now readily available for most kids.
While not every child is going to grow up to be a programmer, engineer or website developer, we as parents and educators can still use these STEM skill sets to our everyday advantage. While STEM education has the potential to influence lifetime earning potential and employability, students will still have a need for these skills regardless if they go into a specific STEM career.
Take coding and programming, for example — one of the activities widely touted as something that should be a building block of elementary education and beyond as we head into the future. Most of us are aware that there is a heavy focus on logic and math involved in learning and mastering most forms of programming, but as it turns out, those aren’t the only parts of our minds that start spinning into action when we take to the keyboard and start coding up a storm.
Researchers who have studied the human brain using advanced neuroscience techniques have discovered that many of the areas that are linked to language processing also light up while coding. Given how complex the brain is, it’s clear we’re only scratching the surface of these kinds of connections, and we should be excited to learn more about how studying the ins and outs of programming could help strengthen our grasp on language and our other cognitive faculties.
The benefits for students aren’t purely