STEM: A Kids' Guide to Understanding Coding and Software Development

Anyone exploring education will almost certainly find the acronym "STEM" in their pursuits. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and it has become the foundation of both education and innovation around the world. The knowledge and skills associated with these subject areas are intricately involved with the creation and production of cutting-edge products and services. Educating students in STEM subjects is crucial to ensure technical literacy and relevance going forward. Coding and software development are part of a full STEM education, and students will benefit from receiving instruction in these technical areas.

Coding for Beginners

Learning how to program is something that almost anyone can do, and the benefits are extensive. Not only can coding open up a wide array of career opportunities, but coding also uses important areas of the brain and enhances creativity. A number of programming languages exist, providing extensive options for anyone who wants to learn how to code. Some languages are relatively simple, while others are much more complex. Many consider Python to be one of the easiest programming languages to learn, while C++ is powerful and ideal to learn for anyone who wants to gain extensive programming skills for building mobile apps. HTML and CSS are useful for building and editing static Web pages, and JavaScript is the go-to language for adding functionality to Web pages. Regardless of the language chosen, it's helpful to start with the most basic aspects of the code. More advanced lessons will incorporate coding projects, which will provide important practice completing steps, troubleshooting, and testing outcomes. Because kids are also diving into coding with increasing frequency, a wide array of apps are available that are designed to teach youngsters. Adults can benefit from using these apps as well because they tend to be simplistic yet powerful.

Careers That Involve STEM

Pursuing STEM careers affords a huge variety of options, and many of these careers are in high demand. Within the science field, someone pursuing a STEM career could become a chemist, environmental scientist, geneticist, astronomer, and more. In the technology field, STEM opportunities include careers as a computer systems analyst, a Web developer, a software developer, or a computer hardware engineer. Engineering opportunities abound as well, with careers such as mechanical engineer, nuclear engineer, computer engineer, and chemical engineer being popular options. Anyone pursuing a math career might pursue a career as a statistician, financial adviser, or financial analyst. There are also some unusual STEM career opportunities that don't fit precisely into the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields. For example, a medical illustrator will need a strong foundation in art as well as science.

STEM Games

Practice is important for learning how to code. However, the learning process doesn't have to be tedious. After learning the fundamentals of a programming language, one way to cement this information is to use it in an engaging way. Coding games are both educational and entertaining, so spending time playing coding games has important value for anyone who wants to learn how to program and improve their coding skills. Because coding games are so entertaining, it's easy to feel motivated to spend time doing this form of practice.