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Early Access to Technologies Imperative to Accelerate STEM Education from Grassroots: An Experimental Study in Bhutan
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  • Sangay Chedup ,
  • Bevek Subba ,
  • Karma Utha ,
  • Tandin Zangmo ,
  • Srijana Gajmer ,
  • Deo Raj Biswa
Sangay Chedup
Jigme Namgyel Engineering College

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Bevek Subba
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Karma Utha
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Tandin Zangmo
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Srijana Gajmer
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Deo Raj Biswa
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Abstract

This work studies the potential of transforming STEM education with the integration of recent STEM learning technologies. STEM is the focus of the education system as it is the driver for creation, innovation, and invention. However, the delay in the introduction of STEM in the education system impacts the motivation of youths to take up STEM courses, thereby adversely affecting the enrolment into the field and proliferation. Furthermore, the digital divide among the youths in urban and rural settings also plays a vital role in creating the gap when it comes to STEM education.
Therefore, this work analyses the experimental-based case study to assess the impact of early access to STEM educational tools in ensuring the youths understand the potential of STEM. Priliminary study to understand the pupil’s perception on existing method of STEM teaching-learning is carried out. The general perception is that students’ are not able to visualize, neither they are able to understand the potential of STEM. Hence, does not play significant role in motivating the pupil to take up the STEM fields.
On the other hand, as part of the study, same group who responded in preliminary study took part in STEM workshops. Basic concepts and applications of automation, the internet of things, and AI were considered for the students to visualize the potential of STEM education. STEMSEL microncontroller and runlinc- an online IoT and AI application development platform were used as study tool. Students demonstrated their ability to discover their own creativity and innovation using the platform where 3D model (design, development, and deployment) concept was inculcated. The participant students were from schools in rural location who do have access to such learning platforms. On completion of workshops, pupils’ (students) understanding of STEM, their perception towards it, and their visualization on the potential of STEM education in making the impact for social good drastically improved. Therefore, the study indicated that the early access to hands-on educational tools, integration into teaching-learning of STEM would bring transformation in STEM education. Such exposure would also motivate youths take up STEM fields in higher education, thereby enhancing the enrollment.