The importance of STEM in schools

by Expat Life

by Headmaster Thomas Banyard, King’s College International School Bangkok

“We will always have STEM with us. Some things will drop out of the public eye and will go away, but there will always be science, engineering, and technology. And there will always, always be mathematics.” – Katherine Johnson

When I studied Physics, there were ten boys for every girl. Not enough women study Engineering, Chemistry, Maths, Technology, and other essential subjects. There is little doubt that Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) are essential in today’s world, but schools must encourage students to consider studying them at university and beyond. Without enabling every child to feel that these subjects are viable options, we are failing both them and society as a whole. 

After many years of working with schools around the world, I truly believe that the problem lies not in the system, but with the teachers within the system. STEM subjects are not easy to teach and the world needs more high quality teachers in these areas. At King’s Bangkok, we are exceptionally fortunate to have hired outstanding teachers to teach STEM in our senior school:

  • Koren Sullivan (Head of Mathematics) is joining us from King’s College School Wimbledon. She attained a Master’s in Education and a PGCE from Cambridge University.
  • William Byfield (Head of Science) is joining us from King’s College School Wimbledon where he is currently Head of House and Head of Biology. He attained a PGCE and is completing a Master’s degree in teaching and learning from Oxford University.
  • Dion Norman (Director of ICT) double-majored in Psychology and Sociology and attained a Masters of Education from the University of Toronto, specialising in the use of technology for teaching and learning. His experience as a classroom teacher, combined with a decade in technology management, make him the perfect person to lead ICT at King’s.
  • Matthew Gibson (Head of Senior School and teacher of Chemistry) joins us from King’s College School Wimbledon. 
  • Thomas Banyard (Headmaster and teacher of Physics) joins us from King’s College School Wimbledon and King’s Hangzhou and has a first-class degree from Oxford.

First and foremost, we look for experienced teachers who genuinely love their subjects. We have also invested heavily in the facilities of the school so that STEM is both practical and purposeful, and that children enjoy studying it.  

Every parent should consider the quality of STEM provision when choosing a school. Of course, not all students will want to pursue STEM; however, by giving them as much choice as possible, we are more likely to find what sparks their interest. I do not know whether my daughters will be engineers or authors, but I know that at King’s Bangkok, they will discover their passion and will be engaged, inspired and extended.

If you want to find out more about STEM or anything else at King’s Bangkok, please feel free to visit our school or email us at [email protected]

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