The fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) refer to a type of learning that concerns the study and application of these fields in various contexts. There are many socio-economic challenges that make it difficult for individuals to access these fields of study.
Access to Quality Education and Opportunities
Not everyone has access to quality education or opportunities. There is a large gap between the rich and poor communities of society. Wealthier communities have access to more educational resources and materials to assist them, but rural communities do not always have the funds or means to support students.
Wealthier communities can often afford to do a variety of science-related experiments and projects that rural communities can simply not afford to provide. If individuals are not exposed to simple scientific methods or theories from a young age, it becomes a lot harder to learn difficult scientific concepts or theories later in life.
Reinforced Stereotypes About Scientists
There are many misconceptions about scientific theories and scientists. In some social circles, it may be inappropriate for a woman to become a scientist. However, stereotypes like these only cause harm to an individual’s self-esteem. Everyone, no matter their race or gender, should be allowed to pursue a career in a science-related field.
STEM Qualifications Can Be Costly
Most people are not in a financial position to obtain a tertiary qualification in either science, technology, engineering, or mathematics. It takes many years of study and commitment to become recognized in any of these fields.
Unfortunately, this means aspiring scientists, engineers, or mathematicians may need to pay many years’ worth of tuition at a college or university before becoming qualified.
Poor Teaching Methods or Unqualified Teachers
One of the biggest challenges facing STEM-related careers is the fact that many instructors and leaders, especially in rural areas, are not qualified to teach subjects related to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
STEM literacy and all the relevant educational challenges that communities face need to be addressed to make sure that more people have access to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics qualifications. STEM literacy helps individuals to compete in the ever-evolving economy.