STEM Education - Future Trend, Progress, Opportunities & Challenges (By Electronics Division)

What is STEM Education?

STEM Education is an approach to learning and development that integrates the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

  • Research has shown 85% of jobs that will exist in 2030 have not been invented yet. STEM education should be able to train students' 21st century skills, such as 4Cs (collaboration, communication, creativity and critical thinking) and problem solving, in order to succeed in the future.  [1]
  • Jobs that require STEM knowledge are rapidly increasing. STEM education can equip students with the necessary knowledge and aptitude to prepare them for the future world of science and technology.
  • Computational thinking, including coding, is also one of the 21st century essential skills that students should possess.

Future Trend of Education Technology


Teachers who use technology to teach students should incorporate art(A) skills into STEM education by applying "hands-on learning" to STEM projects. Thus, STEAM (STEM with Art) Education at a young age can enable students' exposure to hands-on learning that enhances children's creativity and problem-solving skills. Early STEAM learning can also provide opportunities for children to explore STEM career choices.

Hands-on Learning

Coding has a lot of abstract ideas, and the theory of cognitive development states that most children can learn about abstract concepts at around the age of 11 or 12. Hands-on learning can help students understand the abstract concepts, as well as inspire children to think critically and creatively, and apply STEM knowledge to solve real-life problems.

Adaptive Learning

Adaptive learning, also known as adaptive teaching, uses a data-driven approach for providing efficient, effective, and personalised learning paths that adapts to each student. Teachers can never be replaced, but adaptive learning systems can work as a powerful assistant to teachers. In the future, there will be a higher demand for adaptive learning systems that cater for primary and secondary school education, but the core of adaptive learning system is still the teaching curriculum (the data).

Kids Entrepreneurship Training

There are many new startups founded by young entrepreneurs. Therefore, there will be growing needs for students at secondary schools and universities to receive proper training of soft and hard skills, as well as adopting an entrepreneurial spirit that equip them with real working skills and experience.

STEM Education in Global World

China: In February 2017, the Ministry of Education in China has announced to officially add STEM education into the primary school curriculum, and it  is the first official government recognition of STEM education. [2]

Singapore: Singapore has a structured curriculum for STEM Education. STEM is generally taught in an interdisciplinary and applied learning manner. Singapore's Ministry of Education (MOE) has a newly established unit under the Singapore Science Centre for managing STEM Applied Learning Program (STEM ALP). The programme enables secondary school students, aged 13 to 15, to apply what they have learned in STEM subjects and innovate solutions to real-world problems. The MOE provided funding to establish the programme. [3]

UK: The UK is the first country in the world to add coding to their national curriculum. BBC offers every Year 7 student in the UK a free Micro:bit computer to learn coding, design and technology.

STEM Situation in Hong Kong

Encourage DSE Students to Take STEM Subjects

Traditionally, the admission to Hong Kong universities depends solely on the HKDSE grading system. Recently, some universities have special schemes to enrol students with good STEM results even if they do not meet the basic university admission requirements on language subjects.

Government Subsidy for STEM Jobs

In the 2020-21 Budget, the Hong Kong Government has set aside HK$40 million to subsidise undergraduates and postgraduates who are taking STEM programmes in universities to enrol in short-term internships. The Researcher Programme under Innovation and Technology Commission (ITC) also aims to encourage university graduates to pursue a career in innovation and technology (I&T) in order to nurture more I&T talents. The maximum monthly allowance is HK$18,000 for graduates with a bachelor's degree and HK$21,000 for graduates with a master's degree from a local university. [4]


It is foreseeable that there will be more STEM jobs in Hong Kong and global job markets. For long-term career development, students are highly recommended to consider pursuing STEM Subjects.

By Ms Monica LEUNG from the Electronics Division of the HKIE


[1] 85% Of Jobs That Will Exist In 2030 Haven't Been Invented Yet
2] The STEM Education in China
[3] Teaching STEM with real-world relevance in Singapore
[4] Innovation and Technology Commission

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