Competition Education Resources Stem Education

Cost vs. Benefit of STEM Education

Hey parents! Let’s talk some numbers behind STEM education.

Everybody is “STEM-ing” these days. Coupled with the announcement from the Ontario Ministry of Education earlier this year, STEM education is no longer a topic that can be ignored.

Photo by Ralston Smith on Unsplash

So what is STEM again?

It’s short for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. It is a merger of subjects with the goal of developing technical and critical thinking skills for modern learners.

At Wiz , we are passionate about STEM education and we can’t stress enough the importance of learning STEM for the younger generation. As we had written about previously in our blog, STEM education is a global endeavour to help children and youths to prepare for the future of STEM. Governments worldwide are looking for ways to help students build the solid foundation they need for the future.

Pictured above: Wiz Robotics class

Why should students learn STEM?

Problem solving is one of the most important skills for children’s development. It’s also one of the most essential skills used in STEM education. Students are encouraged to learn the required knowledge as well as think outside of the box to solve different challenges and problems. It’s an extremely valuable way for students to develop the problem solving skills that are critical to their future successes.

Read more about building problem solving skills in STEM competitions.

STEM also teaches transferable skills that students can use throughout their lives. Critical thinking, being innovative, as well as project management skills are just some of the examples that students will be able to pick up during their STEM journey.

Read our previous blog posts to find out how Wiz programs can help develop these skills:

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So now we know all the benefits of STEM, let’s talk some numbers.

STEM careers continue to be some of the fastest growing occupations in the US and Canada. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics is projecting the number of jobs in STEM fields to grow by nearly 10% between 2019 and 2029. That’s twice the rate of growth for all other occupations!

According to the 2016 census by Statistics Canada, the average income of a STEM graduate is more than $15,000 higher than graduates of non-STEM fields. It’s a similar situation in the United States. The median salary for STEM occupations was $98,340 in 2020, with computer and information systems managers earning an average of $161,70 per year.

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STEM careers have a bright outlook. But how much does it cost?

First and foremost, cost can be a barrier to STEM education. According to a recent UScellular survey, almost half of students surveyed agree that pursuing a path in a STEM-related field would be too costly or too difficult.

Some of these costs include:

  • Obtaining a university degree in STEM — Bachelor’s degrees can cost anywhere between $50,000 and $130,000 in tuition for a four-year program.
  • Extracurricular STEM programs and classes — Generally speaking, these STEM programs and classes outside of school starts at around $300+ for a set of sessions. Additional costs also apply when you consider camps to continuously pursue STEM even during the summer holidays.
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Don’t fret — there are many resources out there to support children’s interests in STEM!

STEM education doesn’t have to come with a massive price tag. There are many ways to engage with children on their interests and get them to practice STEM skills on a daily basis.

For example, we had outlined five ways that you can incorporate STEM everyday in a previous blog post. These methods will help you continue the conversation at home with your children on STEM through daily activities and discussions.

Additionally, there should be local resources in your city that are free or low cost for the whole family to enjoy STEM. The local public library is a great place to start. For those in the Toronto area, the Toronto Public Library is a treasure chest full of resources and programs for free. If the library doesn’t have the STEM information you need, you can always pay a visit to the Ontario Science Centre in person or access their virtual resources.

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Don’t forget about STEM competitions!

Did you know that some STEM competitions are very affordable to participate in and can also be done virtually! STEM competition are a great opportunities for children to develop STEM skills while having fun.

Take our Wiz Summer Innovators Competition for example, participants were given challenges to complete while playing Roblox. What’s better than playing games and learning STEM along the way?

Pictured above: Previous WSI Winner

Ready to take on the next level of STEM learning?

At Wiz Robotics, our STEM classes offer exciting and engaging opportunities for students to practice problem solving.

Try a demo class and see for yourself!

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Competition Education Resources

How can STEM Competitions Help Develop Problem Solving Skills?

Problem solving is one of the most important skills for children’s development. It’s also one of the most essential skills used in STEM education. In today’s blog, we explore this topic through the most recently concluded Wiz Prodigy Online STEM Competition.

If you have been following our 2022 Wiz Prodigy Online STEM Competition lately, you might have noticed that we have recently announced the top two submissions that caught our judges’ eyes!



Pictured above: Mary’s Wiz Prodigy Space Rover

… and Roneet!

Pictured above: Roneet’s Wiz Prodigy Space Rover

Head to our Instagram to view Mary and Roneet’s space rovers in action!

Our judges were impressed by all of the submissions. However Mary and Roneet’s space rovers stood out the most because they have demonstrated superb problem solving skills in tackling the challenges of the competition.

What are problem solving skills?

Problem solving skills are an essential aspect to children’s development.

Problem-solving also encourages creativity, which is key to success later on in life.

Source: Link

Not only will problem solving help children make better decisions, it’s also a key component in STEM. We can teach all types of concepts in classrooms but ultimately it’s up to our students to use their creativity to solve all types of complex problems.

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How can STEM Competitions help?

STEM Competitions are a great way for students to combine the different concepts they have learned in order to solve complex challenges. During the Wiz Prodigy Competition, students not only had to learn the required knowledge, but they also had to think outside of the box to design and build their robotic space rovers to complete different challenges. It was an extremely valuable way for students to develop the problem solving skills that are critical to their future successes.

When we look deeper into the problem solving process, we can see that problem solving involves both creativity and critical thinking. Both of which were demonstrated through the top submissions of the Wiz Prodigy Competition.

Photo by Jeswin Thomas on Unsplash

Creativity in STEM

Creative thinking is the heart of problem solving. It is the ability to see a different way to do something, generate new ideas, and use materials in new ways.

Source: Link

Roneet’s clever use of the cardboard to better control the shape of the chassis of his space rover was very creative. The use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to detect objects was also a nice surprise. This was a perfect demonstration of creativity in STEM as he had applied a concept that he had learned — AI, to solve the problem.

Pictured above: Roneet’s Wiz Prodigy Submission

Critical Thinking in STEM

Critical, or logical, thinking is the ability to break an idea into its parts and analyze them.

Source: Link

In Mary’s space rover, our judges loved the 3D printed pieces Mary had custom made in order to solve the challenges.

Pictured above: Mary’s Wiz Prodigy Submission

Mary also demonstrated to the judges on the reasoning behind her design as well as mentioning about an earlier design and its reasons on why it didn’t work. This was a great example of good design thinking and planning which was essential to the success of her space rover.

Going beyond STEM Competitions

At Wiz Robotics, our STEM classes offer exciting and engaging opportunities for students to practice problem solving.

Try a demo class and see for yourself!

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Coding Competition Engineering Robotics Stem Education

Top 5 Reasons for Learning STEM

Hear it from students and teachers on why they love STEM education.

STEM has been a hot topic in education in recent years. It’s short for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. If you mix in “Art”, it becomes STEAM. It is a merger of subjects with the goal of developing technical and critical thinking skills for modern learners.

At Wiz, we could go on for days about our love of STEM education and how we are constantly being amazed by the creativity and knowledge that our students have shown us. Instead of us raving on and on about this subject, I asked our students why they think taking STEM classes is amazing.

Here is what they told me:

It is fun! Building and being creative, what is there to not like?

“One of the best ways to learn and have fun is rolling up my sleeves and starting working. Whether it is coding, building a robot or designing a 3D masterpiece there is just an endless amount of fun.”

Photo by Wiz Robotics

“I love playing games and learning different courses. STEM is a way for me to explore my hobbies of playing games and also building games.”

The best way for children to learn is to let them be creative. Creativity drives motivation for children to learn. STEM education is one of the best ways for children to pick up new skills while having fun.

It is a great way to learn programming.

“Learning to code was scary and very confusing. It gave me the opportunity to learn by setting bite-sized goals. Learning STEM skills helped develop my coding skills.”

Learning programming can sound like a daunting task even for adults. STEM classes is a great way to break it down. Nothing motivates everyone more than celebrating small milestones.

Photo by Wiz Robotics

“I find that mixing programming with other engineering and creative building tasks made me realize coding can be fun!”

STEM lets your imagination run wild.

“I find learning STEM skills gives me an opportunity to express myself and really explore what I like to design and build.”

Photo by Ümit Yıldırım on Unsplash

“Learning about different sensors, I can link different technologies to make my own inventions!”

Future jobs and career paths.

“My parents are engineers and I see a clear path that learning STEM will help in developing my education for my future career.”

With super heroes like Iron Man, children are continuously looking up to a future in STEM fields. Starting STEM education at a young age would provide children with an opportunity to explore their interests and further develop their passion.

Photo by NASA on Unsplash

“I want to become a Robotics Engineer and learning STEM helps me understand the code all the way to the mechanical aspects.”

Robots are everywhere!

Stay calm —we don’t have robot takeovers… (yet!)

Just take a look around the house and you’ll realize that robots are actually everywhere and they are not going away any time soon.

“From exploration to AI to life saving robots, we are relying on robots more and more. I find learning STEM really connects me with what is going on in the world.”

Photo by Lenin Estrada on Unsplash

“I see robots from our vacuum to robots helping the elderly. I think learning STEM really helps me keep my eyes open to looking at new technology and robots.”

At Wiz, I get to work with really amazing technology and the the smartest, and most passionate students. We want to take STEM education to the next level by encouraging our students to incorporate more creativity and imagination in their creations. This is why we are hosting a brand new edition of the Wiz Prodigy Online STEM Competition for 2022.

The theme of this year’s Wiz Prodigy is around space expeditions. Participants will get an opportunity to create their own AI motion-controlled exploration rover using Wiz’s robotics kit. More information about the competition can be found on the Wiz Prodigy website.

We can’t wait to see what a future of STEM would bring!

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