STEM Education is an interdisciplinary curriculum, which focuses on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Rather than teach these four disciplines as separate and discrete subjects, STEM integrates these core subjects into ” interdependent” learning units based on real-world applications. It also helps students improve their ability to:
- Organize information using words, math, or source code;
- Reason logically and spatially; and
- Link isolated facts into coherent and comprehensive understandings.
Educators believe that students who take part in STEM are more likely to enroll in a post-secondary option or to be employed in a high-tech job.
But the real reason behind the STEM movement is the economy.
According to the Math and Science Initiative, corporations are struggling to find qualified STEM employees to fill the 26 million STEM jobs in the United States. Many attribute this STEM shortage to the United States’ educational system.
Only 44 percent of 2013, U.S. high school graduates were ready for college-level math. Less than 40% of these students were prepared for any college-level science. Recognizing the nation’s lack of STEM talent, advocates from the private and public sector reached out to public schools across the states to change this trajectory.
As a result of their efforts, many school districts are now providing STEM courses at the middle and high school level. There is also a great effort by these advocates to encourage young women, African-Americans, and Latinos to take part in a STEM pathway. Because they all believe that…
“… Leadership tomorrow depends on how we educate our students today—especially in science, technology, engineering and math.”
— President Barack Obama, September 16, 2010