STEAM Education Trends Shaping Learning In 2023

In the field of education, STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. STEAM education includes the arts, and it’s what we focus on in our STEAM school trips to China. These school trips to China are a vital part of our curriculum, providing students with unique opportunities to explore the world of STEAM in a global context.

In 2023, several key trends have had a significant impact on STEAM learning. These trends include personalized learning, inclusivity, project-based learning (PBL), and interdisciplinary education. They are fundamentally changing our approach to teaching and learning in STEAM education by fostering active engagement and multidisciplinary exploration.
Now, let’s explore these trends in more depth. We will spend some time sharing information about our Science Academy program and some of our exciting STEAM school trips to China, so you don’t want to miss out!

Personalized Pathways to Learning

As we have outlined in our Top Trends in Education blog post, teachers in 2023 have been focused on providing modular learning sessions that are personalized to students’ interests and learning styles. With this approach, there is no one-size-fits-all curriculum. STEAM programs can be a wise addition to these kinds of curriculums, and may also be introduced to students at a much earlier stage. By including STEAM programs in elementary education, students learn to become familiar with its concepts early on.
As for students further along in their educational journey, they are increasingly exploring learning approaches such as apprenticeships, partnerships between educational institutions and labor departments, as well as accelerated education programs.

Inclusivity and Belonging

In 2020, jobs in STEAM paid more than double the annual salary of jobs in other industries. Women are severely underrepresented in STEAM jobs, and this is especially true in marginalized groups. Because of this, there has been a rise in organizations that emphasize STEAM entrepreneurship, self-efficacy, and social impact. These organizations provide workshops, demo days, development, and training programs for students to help them discover their paths in STEAM.
In an intensive research survey, more than 600 young participants said that belonging was a crucial aspect in wanting to pursue a career in STEAM. Luckily, there ’s been an increasing demand for “frameworks, tools, and metrics that can help teachers implement and assess efforts to expand belonging in their STEAM classrooms.”

Not only does seeing more BIPOC representation encourage students to pursue fields in STEAM, but having more BIPOC STEAM teachers make students more likely to pursue a STEAM career.

Project-Based Learning (PBL)

PBL helps students apply and develop STEAM skills, promotes collaboration, engagement, creativity, and inquiry-based learning. Inquiry-based learning occurs when students proactively ask their own questions, which further promotes curiosity and lifelong learning.
As a student-centered approach, it emphasizes experiential learning throughout all stages of the project. Students can work together to solve real-world problems, developing their critical thinking, innovation, problem-solving, and communication skills.

Some examples of PBL in STEAM education include building sustainable houses, and developing an app. Investigating a local environmental issue is another example of PBL that we have in our STEAM programs, which we will introduce later in this post!

Interdisciplinary Learning

Interdisciplinary learning allows students to make meaningful connections between a variety of subjects and the real world. Thinking outside the box is a key outcome of interdisciplinary learning as it involves synthesizing ideas, which then fosters critical thinking and creativity.
Interdisciplinary learning also helps students gain a broader perspective on the world and become more resilient and adaptable. In a climate that values skills, having transferable skills puts students at an advantage throughout both their educational and professional careers.

Check out our Science Academy On-Campus Program!

Science Academy is a STEAM education company co-managed by WildChina Education and Discover, Experiment, Learn (DXL). Founded in 2016 by a team of international STEAM educators with a mission to introduce STEAM to China, their experts focus on researching and developing curricula that suit the cognitive and developmental levels of students from 5 to 17 years old.

Science Academy uses cutting edge teaching methods to teach STEAM subjects. Students can learn a wide range of topics including physics, geology, environmental science, biology, chemistry, space, and technology through STEAM learning. To date, we ’ve worked with more than 2000 students and see a re-signup rate of above 80%.

We operate by visiting your school every week to conduct enjoyable and engaging lessons. At Science Academy, we are continually developing new science lessons, and among the exciting topics we have introduced so far are absorption, potential kinetic energy, chemistry of polymers, fossils, buoyancy, slime structure, and magnetism.

If you’re interested in Science Academy’s lesson plans, structure, and/or topics, read more here or reach out to us directly.

Explore some of WildChina Education’s STEAM school trips to China

One emerging trend in STEAM education is the inclusion of school trips to China. These trips provide students with an immersive experience in a country known for its advancements in science and technology. Students get the opportunity to visit research facilities, interact with experts, and gain valuable insights into Chinese innovation.

The Gansu Paleontology Dinosaur Dig is a 7-day school trip to Gansu (甘肃, gān sū), China where students get to traverse some of the most exotic landscapes in the province. Gansu is the Chinese province that houses the most dinosaur remains, so students will have a blast as they experience dig site work during this school trip in China!

school trips to China
Days 1 to 3
Students will start their journeys with activities in the sand dunes and enjoying the desert sunset. After visiting Mogao Grottoes, students will transfer to Yumen (玉门, yù mén) for their first lecture on dinosaurs. The first dig site students will work at is the Changma Basin (昌马盆, chāng mâ pén).

Days 4 to 7
Transferring to Jiayuguan (嘉峪关, jiā yù guān), students will get to explore the west end of the Great Wall of China before continuing some archeological field work at the White Pagoda Basin for two days. Won’t it be so exciting to dig up dinosaur fossils? This is what it truly means to learn by doing. One last place students will visit and explore is the Zhangye Danxia Landform (张掖丹霞地质, zhāng yè dàn xiá dì zhí), also known as the Rainbow Mountains.
Another STEAM school trip to China we have is Battling Shanghai’s Invasive Species, which heavily focuses on biodiversity. During this 4-day school trip, students will learn about how Shanghai has been transformed by non-native plants and animals, also known as invasive species.

While having a large variety of plants is beneficial, it can be harmful when these plants are not native to the local environment. Invasive species adversely affect the bioregion by outcompeting native plants causing ecological, environmental, and/or economic damage.
Battling Shanghai’s Invasive Species
Days 1 and 2
Starting off on a high note, students will head to a local lake to paddle board and kayak while enjoying the beautiful scenery. Students will then participate in a community service project where they learn about local wildlife conservation efforts by assisting the dismantling of illegal bird catching nets.

Other activities include: learning to identify and properly dispose of Shanghai’s invasive species, geo-diversity surveys, biking, and shelter building. Throughout these school trips to China, students will gain a better understanding on climate change, environmental protection, and eco-activism.

Days 3 and 4
To continue learning about the local habitat, students will do a water testing activity using measurements such as Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) and Parts Per Million (PPM). After a couple nights of camping out, students will learn about the 7 Leave No Trace (LNT) principles to make sure they leave the area even cleaner than they found it.
Total Dissolved Solids
Digital China, Factories & Robots is yet another 7-day school trip to China. Shenzhen (深圳, shēn zhèn), Guangdong (广东, guâng dōng) is known as a central manufacturing hub and center of technological innovation. In addition to STEAM, this school trip also has Business & Economics as a learning objective.

Here, students will get to meet great creators in the industry and participate in tech workshops. A few activities students will do during this school trip to China include: DIY programming competitions, glass blowing, and model construction.

Days 1 to 3
The day after touching down in Shenzhen, students will enjoy a walking tour of some of the city icons around the Central Business District (CBD) (中央商务区, zhōng yāng shāng wù qū) area in Futian District (福田区, fú tián qū). On the tour, students will learn about some of the driving forces behind China ’s Silicon Valley.

Marvel at the rural village lifestyle and its rich artistic and cultural atmosphere at Guanlan Art Village (观澜版画村, guān lán bân huà cūn). Over the years, it has become a printmaking industry base. Students will be able to discover various kinds of craftsman’s work in the area and take part in activities such as T-shirt dying.

See firsthand how ideas are transformed into finished products at Huaqiangbei (华强北, huá qiáng beî) Trouble-Maker Space. Students will get to interact will expert makers there. They’ll also play a scavenger hunt game near the e-markets and have an interactive lecture about Printed Circuit Board (PCB) design and prototyping.
Days 4 to 7
After returning to the Huaqiangbei Trouble-Maker Space for a robot project, students will also partake in a soldering workshop. At Chaihuo Maker Space (柴火创客, chái huô chuàng kè), students get to experience engineering, DIY skills, software programming, and how to use 3D printers and laser cutters. 

Other places the students will visit include the OCT Loft Cultural Park and DJI company, where they’ll participate in activities such as drone flying and a robotics competition.


Plan your STEAM school trips to China!

We hope you are looking forward to bringing your students on any one of these STEAM school trips to China! Each of these school trips provide ample opportunity to foster your students’ creativity while learning in a fun and experiential way.

Do these sound like school trips you want to take your students on? You can contact us directly by filling out a form or reaching out via phone or email. If you have any special requests or places you would like to visit on one of your school trips to China, let us know and we’ll be happy to help you out.

Reach out today to start planning your school trip. We can’t wait to hear from you!


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