Edutainment: Engineering a New Path for Students Learning STEM
Worldwide, seldom do many students jump with joy when it comes to Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics – also known as STEM.
In the United States in particular, many students are ranking lower than those in other countries, due to the lack of engagement in STEM education across schools and other organizations. With the United States ranked 48th in the world for the quality of the country’s education, and the demand for jobs in the fields of STEM expected to grow 26 percent between 2010 and 2020, there’s no doubt that future careers in the United States will require highly skilled applicants in the respective fields.
STEM reform progress has been gradual, but awareness of the universal need to engage more students and make it a greater opportunity has increased. America is working to fill that gap, and a system of learning that is different from much of what is taught in schools today, is what is lacking. Seeking to fill that void, Israel based company, e2 Young Engineers, a franchise that delivers edutainment (education + entertainment) programs using theoretical knowledge and practical STEM implementation, is looking to grow and expand in the U.S. market. The purpose of the system is to help enhance and speed up the STEM educational process – in America and across the globe.
e2 Young Engineers has experienced international success in 17 countries and five continents worldwide, and represents more than 20,000 students who participate in the company’s unique curriculum. It is the company’s mission to provide a process of learning that has not been aggressively integrated into any school system before. The goal is to ensure children across the world are provided the opportunity and resources necessary to build the skills they need to excel and grow in their futures. STEM is one of the undeniable ways students will possess an edge over others and offer something less common, which is why it is so important to provide access for them to learn now. Youth today struggles to find the happy medium where they can enjoy and grow from their studies, because of psychological barriers deterring them from mathematics and science.
Growing up, Amir Asor, founder and CEO of e2 Young Engineers, often struggled with learning disabilities and realized that education should be delivered in a fun way, not the frequent and routine way so many students are left with no choice but to endure. Upon his realization, at the age of 23, Asor decided to set forth and develop a learning program that would change the process of learning for students, in the categories of STEM. While volunteering as a paramedic in emergency rooms, he witnessed firsthand the various treatment procedures implemented with multiple patients. The hospital staff provided individual care and personal attention to the needs of every single patient, within the larger group of patients. That single experience sparked the creation of the edutainment method utilized in the e2 Young Engineers curriculum, where every child is afforded individual attention in a larger learning environment.
Through successful initial classes and before the end of 2009, e2 Young Engineers programs were conducted in over 90 educational centers throughout Israel. In 2012, the company began franchising, expanding the number of hands necessary to bridge the gap between what children are learning in school and the obstacles and demands they will face
in the future work force.
The edutainment method has been well received in the United States. The essence behind the edutainment method is based on theoretical studies, research and statistical tests. Children joining the company’s educational community can happily learn the likes of arithmetic, physics, and mechanical and software engineering using LEGO® and K’nex® assembly kits, as well as tablets to enhance the children’s experience and combination of technology with hands on skills. Children are able to see the model they build in 360 degrees, zoom in, and are provided 3-D instructions that help illustrate the step-by-step process.
To accomplish the result the curriculum is intended for, the program implements a “Do Not Force It” method, which seeks to create an atmosphere where a child will declare: “I want to take an active part in the learning process!” It takes four stages for a child to experience the latter result. The first is bond: children are automatically connected and drawn to games, so if the activity is interesting, they will like it. The second is feel: the child always feels the need to improve his/her skills since they aspire to achieve the game’s goal. The third is understand: the child gains a conceptual understanding to be successful in the game. The fourth is empower: children who like an activity and are interested in it will be motivated to achieve expertise in relevant skills and succeed.
Results of participants who took part in the company’s program showed that 88 percent of students attending e2 Young Engineers programs achieve grades in math ranging from 85-100 percent. The results solidify the clear connection between the curriculum and the student’s success in school, as well as the development of an arc of skills.
Establishing its footprint in the United States, e2 Young Engineers is gearing towards an expansion that will mimic the success it has experienced in other countries and an increased number of youth that will look forward to growing their knowledge of STEM to better prepare them for the future ahead.
Amir Asor is the founder and CEO of e2 Young Engineers. Asor has spearheaded STEM education in Israel with social action for children and their advancement. In 2011, he was awarded the title ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ by Youth Business International (YBI), a global competition for young entrepreneurs, establish by HRH the Prince of Wales – Prince Charles, who serves as the institute’s president.
For more information, visit www.youngeng.net