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Top Five STEAM Trends Worth Time and Resources

At the forefront of 21st century innovation, Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) are fields with several emerging trends that warrant investing one’s time and resources. In this blog, EdTech Coaching explores the top five STEAM trends that are worth watching.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are two of the most exciting fields in technology right now. With advances in data science and processing power, machines are now able to learn and make decisions based on large amounts of data. Will AI/ML replace humans on the job? Or will we be prepared to harness and manage the power of AI? Perhaps it will be to human advantage to learn what processes AI/ML will best streamline, and position ourselves to master the way AI/ML is used to order data. This technology is already being used in a variety of industries, from finance to healthcare. In the coming years, we can expect to see even more innovation in this field, particularly in the areas of natural language processing and computer vision.

Augmented and Virtual Reality

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) have been around for a while, but recent advances in technology have made these technologies more accessible and affordable. AR and VR are being used in a variety of applications, from gaming and entertainment to education and healthcare. AR/VR has changed the game in training and simulation: AR/VR technology is being used to train people in a variety of fields, from healthcare to the military. For example, medical students can use AR/VR to simulate surgeries and gain hands-on experience before working on real patients. Similarly, military personnel use AR/VR to simulate combat scenarios and practice skills in a safe environment. My daughter is an architect and shares about how certain of her AR/VR tools are being used to create 3D models of building and product blueprints. Her clients visualize and interact with designs before they are built, and have confidence that the final product meets expectations. AR/VR technology has revolutionized Real Estate providing the ability to showcase homes being marketed and allows potential buyers to virtually tour homes and buildings from anywhere in the world. As these technologies continue to evolve, we can expect to see even more innovative applications emerge.

Biotechnology and Bioengineering

Biotechnology and bioengineering are two fields that are rapidly advancing, particularly in the areas of genetic engineering and bioprinting. These technologies have the potential to revolutionize healthcare and medicine, with the ability to cure genetic diseases and create personalized medicine. However, the use of genetic engineering to modify human embryos raises questions about the ethics of creating "designer babies" with specific traits or characteristics. It is important to consider the ethical implications of these technologies and to ensure that they are used in a responsible and ethical manner. I was alarmed recently when I read my favorite canned soups label and discovered in fine print, “bioengineered food products”. I had never noticed it before and as a consumer now refuse to buy it. In the coming years, we can expect to see more research and development in these areas, as well as more commercial applications. So, while biotechnology and bioengineering hold tremendous promise for the future, society needs to carefully consider the ethical, safety, and regulatory issues related to them. By doing so, we can ensure that these technologies are used in a responsible and beneficial manner that benefits society as a whole.

Renewable Energy and Sustainability

Renewable energy and sustainability are becoming increasingly important as the world looks for ways to reduce its carbon footprint and mitigate the effects of climate change. Advances in solar, wind, and geothermal energy are making these technologies more accessible and affordable, while innovations in energy storage are making it possible to store and distribute renewable energy more efficiently. The Fridays for Future movement, founded by Greta Thunberg of Sweden, has been instrumental in raising awareness of the urgency of the climate crisis and putting pressure on governments and businesses to take action. The movement has inspired other youth-led movements, such as the Sunrise Movement in the United States and the School Strike for Climate movement in Australia. In addition to renewable energy, there is also a growing interest in sustainable agriculture and food systems, as well as sustainable building materials and practices. Understanding we all have this one common home, Earth, should be motivation enough to learn ways of taking better care of it together.

Data Science and Analytics

Data science and analytics are becoming increasingly important in a variety of fields, from healthcare and finance to marketing and social media. Data science analysts are responsible for analyzing and interpreting complex data sets, developing algorithms and models, and communicating insights to stakeholders. Data Analysts, Data Scientists, Statistical Analysts, etcetera, all play an important role in helping companies make data-driven decisions and improving their overall performance. According to the website Glassdoor, the average base salary for a Data Science Analyst in the United States is around $83,000 per year. However, this can vary from around $58,000 per year for entry-level positions to over $120,000 per year for more experienced analysts in higher-level positions depending on the company and industry. Think, “if Excel and Python had a baby”--on steroids! With the ability to collect and analyze large amounts of data, organizations are able to make more informed decisions and gain a better understanding of their customers and stakeholders. As data science and analytics continue to evolve, we can expect to see even more innovative applications emerge.

The fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math are constantly evolving and advancing. These top 5 STEAM trends represent some of the most exciting developments in these fields and are worth investing in as we move further into the 21st century. It explains why so many families are finding ways to introduce STEAM to their children, and why so many technology companies are partnering with community STEAM organizations to support the development of future employees. Whether it’s the potential of artificial intelligence, the immersive experience of virtual reality, the promise of biotechnology, the importance of sustainability, or the power of data analytics, these trends have the potential to shape the future of our world in a significant way.

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