STEM learning is proving key to the future of work, as an increasing number of jobs–some of which have yet to be created–will require STEM knowledge. But topics such as math and engineering also can be challenging, leading many students to stop engaging in STEM learning.

Real-world challenges can help, though, because they motivate students and inspire problem solving, collaboration, and critical thinking.

Asking students to solve challenges that exist in the real world is a sure-fire way to truly engage them in STEM learning. It also lets students take what they learn in the classroom and use it to help others.

In fact, research shows that presenting students with a problem that actually exists is one of the key ways to generate and sustain STEM engagement–particularly among girls.

3 competitions that inspire a love of STEM learning

1. Samsung Solve for Tomorrow (Deadline: October 23): For the 10th consecutive year, Samsung has launched the annual Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest, which challenges 6th-12th grade public school students and teachers to use STEM to address issues in their communities. While STEM is the core classroom discipline, Solve for Tomorrow fosters skills development that goes far beyond, including: critical thinking, problem solving, agile iteration, civic engagement and team collaboration. Solve for Tomorrow aims to improve student outcomes and advocate for teachers while uniting communities. In addition to the contest, Samsung also offers professional development opportunities for teachers to help them grow their skills and assist in the classroom.

Laura Ascione
About the Author:

Laura Ascione

Laura Ascione is the Managing Editor, Content Services at eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland's prestigious Philip Merrill College of Journalism. Find Laura on Twitter: @eSN_Laura