STEAMathalon: Future Proofing the Next Generation

STEAMathalon: Future Proofing the Next Generation

April 2019 : Dubai, UAE — In a first for the region, STEAMathalon introduces the future of education through competitive play-based innovation league, raising the bar for positive education, happiness, wellbeing, social impact and twenty-first-century skills. Designed to “future proof” students in Kindergarten through to Grade Twelve and beyond, STEAMathalon focus on science, technology, engineering, art, and math, positive education, making, coding, UN Sustainable Development goals and citizenship within the core curriculum.

STEAMathalon Founder, Aaditya Tangri, said “future proofing”, or “preparation for a world we are yet to understand”, began with engaging learners in big transferable ideas that transcended time, place and situation.

“In order to nurture and grow human capital for sustainable growth in the future, we must instil ideas such as a growth mindset, design thinking and positive education, which can only be taught through transformative, integrated learning systems. We must be effective in necessitating the significant change required to transform pedagogy and to maximise the benefits offered by modern learning environments and digital technology. The world of tomorrow is uncertain, and it is, therefore, our responsibility to future-proof our young ones, the next generation workforce,” he said.

An initiative borne out of pilots carried out in Canada and Finland, this play-based program promotes an inclusive environment mimicking future workplace settings, whereby learners tackle global challenges as a part of a team. STEAMathalon arm innovators of all needs and abilities with powerful tools and projects to control physical objects remotely, as they compete to solve a real-world problem. Organised into groups and provided with a brief, learners use innovation framework to create exciting innovations that come together to form a “future proof” portfolio.

While controlling, testing and optimising their physical world-changing inventions, such as a autonomous ship, satellite or the smart car, learners quickly gravitate towards professional coding languages. Teams are scored on creativity, innovation, sustainability, positivity, and the project as a whole. Empowering and engaging learners with 21st-century workplace skills, the grassroots premise of STEAMathalon is that learners discover, innovate, market and celebrate.

Whether it be an intra-school event, known as STEAMathalonX, or a competition between different institutions, known as STEAMathalon, STEAMathalon empowers learners with comprehensive digital portfolios that can positively engage parents, teachers and wider communities, with progress and performance assessed simply by logging in to the online portal.

Tangri stated that increasingly, forward-thinking schools across the region were exploring new and innovative ways to provide children with real-world experience through STEAMathalon to prepare them for their future. While focusing on the core curriculum, STEAMathalon also allows for the integration of creativity, teamwork and well-being to establish a fun and collaborative learning environment between students and institutions.

“Schools are looking for tangible industry links and for the students to have real-world experiences. They understand the power of innovation in learning and are willing to branch out from “traditional” models of teaching and learning in order to promote integrated learning, collaboration, educational wellbeing and teamwork, as well as ensure children are equipped with the skills demanded of the jobs of the future, including those which do not yet exist.

“One of the fundamental goals and benefits of STEAMathalon is students naturally take more responsibility for themselves as learners in a group setting. Educators and parents who engage with the youth in this way come to understand them better, gaining insight into their aspirations and the communities to which they belong. This makes it easier for them to meet the next generations’ needs and ensure that learning is both relevant and challenging. Specifically, when students are engaged in their learning, educators are able to make the fullest use of their professional skills as educators”, Tangri said.

The world is facing increasingly complex challenges today, as well as staring down the barrel of a technology revolution which will only continue to evolve. This requires disciplines to converge, necessitating a different set of skills and competencies. Because of this, industries are rethinking how they hire and develop talent at all levels. Companies need employees who are innovative thinkers, excellent problem solvers and resilient in the face of adversity.

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