STEM is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — in an interdisciplinary and applied approach. Rather than teach the four disciplines as separate and discrete subjects, STEM integrates them into a cohesive learning paradigm based on real-world applications.

The Importance of STEM

All of this eort is to meet a need. According to a report by the website, by 2018, projections estimate the need for 8.65 million workers in STEM-related jobs. The manufacturing sector faces an alarmingly large shortage of employees with the necessary skills — nearly 600,000. The eld of cloud computing alone will have created 1.7 million jobs between 2011 and 2015, according to the report. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that by 2018, the bulk of STEM careers will be:

  • Computing – 71 percent
  • Traditional Engineering – 16 percent
  • Physical sciences – 7 percent
  • Life sciences – 4 percent
  • Mathematics – 2 percent

What separates STEM from the traditional science and math education is the blended learning environment and showing students how the scientic method can be applied to everyday life. It teaches students computational thinking and focuses on the real world applications of problem solving. As mentioned before, STEM education begins while students are very young.

The program of study focuses on the application of the subjects in a challenging and rigorous manner. Courses and pathways are now available in STEM elds and occupations, as well as preparation for post-secondary education and employment. More emphasis is placed on bridging in-school and out-of-school STEM opportunities.


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