What is STEM?
STEM refers to the academic disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. The grouping informs policy and curriculum in the United States education system, most prominently, representing a contemporary focus on analytical development.
There are several variations of this concept. eSTEM adds environmental considerations to the instruction of these disciplines. STREM includes the robotics field. STEAM incorporates the arts to further develop cognitive skills.
Each approach is a significant part of a composite effort to enhance the learning experience and practical outcomes of primary education, with the hope to produce dynamic, innovative candidates for an increasingly high-tech economy.
STEM signifies shifting attitudes toward the young student. Previously, diagnostic, investigative curriculum to this degree had been offered to designated “gifted” students—children who tested out of general courses or exhibited advanced intellect. Additionally, in the average classroom, sciences and mathematics had been instructed without considering practical applications.
Now, STEM objectives emphasize the role of engineering principles in grounding scientific and mathematical theory. Students must not only master conceptual thinking but demonstrate an ability to apply and contextualize this information in order to identify problems and engineer solutions in their world.
We are at the precipice of a thrilling era in education. Our lives are exponentially reliant on the coordination of these important disciplines. When we offer resources and build intuitive connections for young minds, they learn not only how to execute a formula or measure data. She learns how to think. And young thinkers are tomorrow’s makers.