“Am I ever going to use this in the real world?” is a common question in science and math middle school and high school classrooms. Students taught using experiential learning techniques, however, already know the answer. They learn content by solving real world problems through hands-on activities. In other words, they learn science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) the same way professionals do every day—by doing, sharing, and improving. Experiential learning provides the promise that the U.S. can reverse the trend of students losing interest in STEM subjects during middle school and create life-long learners who apply the scientific thought process to their career path of choice. Learning through experience is not a new concept, but it is essential in STEM classrooms. The United States needs a world-leading STEM workforce and education will determine whether our current students will be able to compete in the global marketplace of the future.
Kolar, M., Phillips, D., and Kolar, C. "Experiential Learning at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy." ISTC Catalyst. Web. August 2014.