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Saturday, July 21, 2018

Science beyond school: Relevance of STEM in your daily life

The practical applications of STEM are immense – which is the reason why everyone should strive to study the basics.

March 19, 20185:43:36 pm

Science is everywhere. Look around and you will find that almost everything has a touch of it. The fan above you, the device you are reading this sentence on, the video you watched a while ago – everything was made possible through science. It is highly unlikely to go through a full day without using science, technology, and maths in some form. They are the answer to our queries, enablers of cognitive function, and the progenitors of futuristic technology. The relevance of STEM goes beyond scholastic learning. At the most, it can make you a genius and at the very least, it can help you better manage the blips of everyday life.

Imagine that there is a lottery. The payout is amazing, the odds of winning (the lottery claims) are high as well. The lure of easy money can compel anyone to buy the ticket for 2000 bucks. However, someone who has a knowledge of probability will think logically. He will weigh the odds and steer clear of buying the ticket.

When it comes to purchasing stuff, a lot of people consider a ‘50%+40%’ discount as a flat out 90%. It is a mistake on their part. Someone with a basic understanding of percentages will know that the actual discount is 70%! Similarly, while going grocery shopping, you have an option of buying either a 200ml shampoo bottle for 230 bucks or a 450ml bottle for Rs. 310. Which is the better value for your money? Basic arithmetic gives you clear insights about discounts, percentages, and more, making you a smart shopper.

A comprehension of STEM enables you to do daily tasks with ease. Maths gives you an understanding of how your taxes work. Science helps you understand your body better. Technology like the internet empowers you with information and solutions to most problems. You can become a skilled investor if you are adept at statistics and probability. Contrarily, if you invest on your own without even a basic mathematical acquaintance, you might end up losing a substantial amount of money. Being well versed with the latest technology enables you to buy the best-performing gadgets at the lowest price.

STEM enables you to reach your own conclusions rather than taking other people’s word. It increases your general awareness, preventing you from wearing black in the peak of summers, from wearing nylon clothing near a fire, and from looking directly at the sun during a solar eclipse. It can essentially save your life! Out of power? Put a lit candle in front of a mirror for more light. Clogged kitchen sink? Pour half a cup of baking soda and a cup of vinegar in the sink and let chemistry do the trick! Planning a trip? Calculate your vehicle’s fuel consumption and keep it in mind while preparing your budget. The applications are endless!

It is imperative to learn the basics of STEM even if you are a humanities student. For students aspiring to become civil servants, a knowledge of maths and science is vital in order to crack the prelims. This is also true for the students who wish to pursue their higher studies from a college of repute. A lot of good colleges conduct entrance exams to test the logical aptitude of the candidates. Exams like CAT, CGL, and BANK-PO also require a sound logical capacity. If a student is well versed with reasoning and quantitative aptitude, no exam is too difficult to clear!

The practical applications of STEM are immense – which is the reason why everyone should strive to study the basics.