Skills For The Future- STEM

In listening to a roboticist speak at a recent symposium, I was delighted to hear the focus on both hard and soft skills needed for the future. The speaker, Aaron Crooks, who works for P&G, shared what he felt the most important areas are for skills in the future. Aaron began by acknowledging that we don’t know what the future looks like for our students, and our best moves are to help equip them with skills to face whatever comes next. The exponential speed of technology and progress is one that we need to recognize and embrace. For most educators, this is speaking our language! We know that the world is developing so fast, and we have a responsibility to our students to help guide them to this developing place.

As I think of what the last school year brought and the possibilities of this new school year, I think Aaron‘s list of hard and soft skills is one that will help me in my planning. Giving students challenge-based activities and engineering problems to work with, I really think I can help them develop their hard and soft skills. Soft skills such as problem solving, critical thinking, teamwork, and curiosity do not just belong in the STEM classroom, but throughout the day for our students. The hard skills of being able apply thinking skills for programming, evaluating data, recognizing reliable Google results, and having the ability to break and fix items makes perfect sense in the STEM classroom! It really is all about giving opportunities for students to recognize patterns, utilize a variety of tools, and follow their curiosity.


This sketch note shows the hard and soft skills discussed.

I used Aaron’s presentation to create a sketch note that will be printed and kept on my desk all school year. I will keep referring back to this and gauge my success in developing those activities that allow for breaking and fixing, responsible googling practices, data driven activities, and programming projects. I will look at my activities for problem-solving, critical thinking, teamwork, and curiosity.


2 replies

September 06, 2022

Thank you for sharing, Leah! I love how your story informed the sketch note anchor chart. This would be a great resource to share with students--or have them create for themselves! Printing out such artifacts as physical reminders is a great way for kids to be reminded of the skills they're working on, and they'll always be able to have access to their digital copies in whichever app they used to create them!

September 06, 2022

Thank you, Adam! Great idea to share with students. They (more than anyone) need to see the target.

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