There are a ton of resources and articles online that talks about STEM’s role in helping to solve sustainability issues of the world. However, there’s an important missing piece of the puzzle that’s not being as widely discussed as it should have been — read on to find out more!
Sustainability is an ongoing topic that should not be ignored. In fact, the United Nation has declared 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which are urgent calls to action for all countries in a global partnership to strive towards peace and prosperity for the people and the planet.
Education is an important component of it all. There’s a growing awareness of STEM and STEM education in helping to solve sustainability issues of the world.
The golden question is — how do we create an education system that’s going to inspire and change the world for future generations?
Our very own Curriculum Director of Wiz Robotics, J. F. Michaud had the opportunity to speak at the Science Summit at the United Nations General Assembly back in September to talk specifically on the role of languages and STEM education in meeting the UN’s sustainable development goals.
I had the chance to chat with J.F. after his presentation and here are the most important things I learned.
The missing puzzle piece of the sustainability discussion — the call-to-action
We already are aware of STEM’s role in helping to solve sustainability issues. We always hear about them through articles, on the news, in popular culture, and in classrooms. However, we are often missing the call-to-action and not emphasizing on creating solutions for these problems.
Our very own FLL (FIRST Lego League) team is actually working on an innovative project as a call-to-action to sustainability issues. The team is made up of a group of students from Grades 4–8 and they are designing a bike to create a cycle that generates food.
The bike the team is working on is an exercise bike with a generator that connects to the bike. When the bike generates energy, it then stores energy in a battery and provides light for an indoor garden. The entire bike is creating a cycle that generates energy to produce food, and then the energy gets transferred back to human!
Watch out — Peloton!
STEM education should be focused on engaging students and inspiring them to use technology to solve problems. The call-to-action is the missing puzzle piece that we should not ignore!
While our FLL team’s innovative bike is a great example of a call-to-action, there are many other things closer to home that we could do to help with the solution.
We should rethink how we interpret the traditional 3R’s of sustainability
We have all been taught what the 3 R’s of sustainability are: Reduce, reuse, recycle.
People often think that recycling means throwing things in the recycling bin and then something new comes out of it in the end. While it’s true, the more appropriate way to look at “recycling” is reuse and repurpose at home before throwing it away.
For example, the holiday season means we might be receiving a lot of delivery boxes. Before we flatten those boxes for the recycling bin, maybe we could think about reusing them for ship out items to friends and family before purchasing new delivery boxes.
During our previous Wiz Prodigy Online STEM Competitions, we also encouraged participants to find items at home to reuse and repurpose for their Cybertruck or space rovers!
Tackling sustainability is not an easy task. That’s why we aim to inspire young minds to become future leaders of the world through STEM learning.