A Thematic and Integrated Approach to STEM Learning
(Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) by Ac. Prof. Dhanjoo Ghista
Embarking on an Inspiring Education Odyssey
Teaching is verily embarking on an exciting odyssey in education, to teach students how to enjoy learning, be creative and want to learn more and more. It is in schools that we plant the seeds of the quest for life-long learning. Societal culture is shaped in schools, as school culture influences the values and the norms of society. Hence, school education is the most important phase of one’s education. In constituting the foundation of higher education, the school education program helps to build the character and personality of the student. At the end of the school education program, students are to be ready to identify their interests in majoring in a discipline at the college level, in terms of their anticipated role in society.
To this end, schools need to promote a broad curriculum representing Humanities and History, Languages, Physical and Health Sciences, Mathematics, Social Sciences, and even Sports Science. Humanities and Social Sciences courses can help to build ideas and values of the society, and make students humanitarian. Physical and Biological Sciences courses develop insights into natural phenomena and life processes; Physics, Chemistry and Biology are functioning all around us and also govern our body function processes. Engineering and Technology courses provide knowledge of the infrastructure around us, and how engineering innovations have made our life comfortable. Health Sciences courses provide knowledge of measures for maintaining good health and of the healthcare system. Economics and Political Sciences courses teach us about governance and measures for economic sustainability. Management has a wide arena from business management to cities management. Finally, Sports Science enables us to understand and appreciate various sports and athletic performances, ranging from quarterback curving throws to soccer curving kicks to tennis serve techniques to the intricacies of pole vault. All of this constitutes our Education Odyssey.
STEM Education in the 2020 Era
The Education Odyssey opens the student minds into a wide arena, and teaches how to think divergently. The jobs and demands of the future will be dictated by the biggest problems that the world will face: energy, health, food supply, climate change and water accessibility. No matter whether the technology or solutions exist today or must be developed, the skills that will be in most demand in the world will be connected to finding the best solutions to the above problems. Scientists and Engineers will be addressing a lot of these problems, and this brings us to the STEM field.
Herein we need to inform our students of the wide range of the STEM field, going beyond conventional subjects of Physical and Biological Sciences into Environmental Science, Cosmology, Physiology and Medicine and even into Management Science and Sports Science and Engineering.
STEM education encompasses learning about everything that is happening around us, what we are employing for daily living, and even understanding biological and physiological processes for creating mathematical medicine for more precise diagnosis and treatment. STEM Education Odyssey involves teaching students STEM concepts involved in (i) physical and biological processes, (ii) designing electric cars and high-speed transportation systems, (iii) city infrastructure design, (iv) analysis of body structures and physiological processes, and (v) perfecting sports maneuvers, such as how putting spin on the football enables the quarter back to curve the ball past the defenders into the hands of his receivers, and how to curve a soccer kick into the corner of the net. A thematic and integrated approach to STEM learning needs to provide an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approach to learning, wherein academic concepts are coupled with real-world problem-based learning.
If you would like help in designing your STEM curriculum in your NHE School, please contact me. I can help you design courses with an integrated approach, in the following areas:
Grade 9: Integrated Mathematics
AP Physics with Application:
Introductory Engineering (with Applications in Anatomy and Physiology)
Yoga and Meditation (For Good Health and Cognitive Development)
Quantitative Physiology (based on Physics and Engineering Principles)
Great Inventors and Inventions
AP Calculus with Applications in Cardiology
A Global Education Academy in NHE Schools will help to promote global awareness, towards ushering a new era of global understanding and peace. Global education involves teaching our students (i) knowledge of world cultures, (ii) the historical and cultural, economic and political relationships among world regions, (iii) international understanding, tolerance and empathy, and (iv) to appreciate that all nations have a stake in promoting happy living for their people. This is how we can prepare our students to develop concern for people in countries world-wide and grow up into global citizens, filled with noble ideals, compassion and cooperation, and supra-aestheticism.
For more information, please contact: Professor Dhanjoo Ghiista <>