Scientific Research Today
Research usually begins with a goal in mind. “I want to find a cure for cancer”, or “I want to see how petrol can be used more effectively. Researchers start with an idea about what they want to achieve from all their years of effort, a solution to a certain problem or a way to improve something. Research also normally starts with a literature review, an investigation into the topic and what already exists out there. These types of “agenda-driven” research is more popular and receive a lot more funding due to the obvious fact that even though the actual experiment might not go as planned, the outcome could add a step to the progress of the whole idea.
Blue Sky Research
What if this type of research isn’t the way of the future? Like everything in today’s day and age, science is also subject to change. There is a new type of research that might change the way we think about science and experiments, “Blue Sky Research”.
This research is done purely based on curiosity, with no actual end goal in mind.
There have been many unexpected scientific breakthroughs that have happened “by accident”. There have been scientists that speak about the danger of funding solely agenda-driven experiments and leaving these less conventional research techniques out. Just because there is a goal in mind, doesn’t mean that the experiment or the research is more important than something that could possibly happen through Blue Sky Research, which might also introduce theories that don’t already exist at the moment.
STEM in Research
STEM refers to the study of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics related subjects. STEM methods focus on teaching the skills that are essential to the jobs and the economy of tomorrow. It also introduces them to ideas of problem solving and critical thinking. In this ever-changing world, education systems need to evolve in order for our young learners to be ready for their futures. STEM could open their creative minds up to ideas like Blue Sky Research and thus solving issues that we already have, or that we never even knew we needed to find answers for.
STEMmates for the Future of Research
STEMmates courses offer students concepts that allow them to think outside the box and find solutions to real world problems. Our young learners are exposed to the concepts and fundamentals that can be used to promote Blue Sky Research.
Our children could be the new scientists of tomorrow, conducting curiosity-based research with no set goals, but amazing solutions. And STEMmates provides an inclusive and welcoming environment to help get kids used to the ideas of collaboration, critical thinking and resilience.
For more information about STEMmates, visit our Facebook and website pages.