STEM Education

Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics

What is STEM?

Science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) is a term denoting a methodology in the field of education and is frequently used when dealing with the curriculum choices in schools with the aim of increasing competitiveness in the field of science and technology development. STEM education is of a great importance to the workforce, national security and immigration policy development. The popularity of the abbreviation has spread soon after the famous meeting on scientific education which occurred at the National Science Foundation of the USA (NSF) under the management of its director Rita Colwell. The director from the Office of Science division of Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists, Peter Faletra, suggested to replace an out-of-date abbreviation METS to STEM. Showing some resentment towards the old term, Colwell suggested to the NSF to accept the change of the abbreviation. One of the first NFS projects where a new acronym was used was STEMTEC: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Teacher Education Collaborative at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, which was founded in 1998.




How to detect child's predisposition towards STEM education?

We suggest you take a career orientation test. It will help the child find the vocation, show the development vectors and tell the industry which is best for him.


What is a STEM Lab?

These are educational classes where practical studies consist in forming to the children of concrete aim, that it is possible to attain by means of knowledge, newest components, and equipment that is inalienable part of classes. The main part of equipment are the newest devices, that have practical application, and maximally attracted in an educational process.


What's the difference between STEAM and STEM?

STEAM - It's SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING, ARTS, MATHEMATICS. STEM - It's SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING, MATHEMATICS. The difference consists in the additional study of design and drawing skills, for this purpose in a lab add the special equipment and software.

Geographic Distribution

This methodology has been applied in the top-50 technology universities of the US. The acronym has started to be applied more and more in educational and immigration debates, particularly, in the initiatives regarding the projected absence of the qualified workforce for high-tech jobs. There are also concerns that the subjects are taught separately, not as a part of the approved school curriculum. One of the key points within US Public Education Program is to support the citizens that are proficient in STEM sciences. Additionally, the acronym STEM is widely used in immigration debates regarding the access to US working visas for STEM-qualified immigrants. Besides, the deficit of the qualified workforce and the lack of education in this sector has become a popular education discussion.


Many US organizations are following the recommendations of the National Science Foundation regarding the definition of the STEM. NSF is defining STEM subjects in a broad way, including subjects such as chemistry, computer and information sciences, engineering, mathematics, physics and astronomy, natural sciences, life science, social sciences (e.g. anthropology, economics, psychology and sociology).


NSF is considered to be the only American agency with the mission to support all fields of science and technology, excluding medicine. Their program includes grants and scholarships in the fields of biology, computer and information sciences, education and human resources, physics and mathematics, social, behavioral and economic sciences, cyber infrastructure and polar programs.


Even though many US organizations follow the NSF definition of STEM, in 2012 the US Department of the Interior announced an extended list of STEM programs, students of which would have the right to be qualified for a student visa. Within the programme, foreign students that have graduated from the US university are allowed to stay in the country and get experience through work for the term of 12 month, and those who have graduated from the STEM program are entitled to stay up to 17 months.

STEM Coalition Creation

STEM Coalition is working to support STEM education for teachers and students in the Department of Education of the US, National Science Foundation and other institutions that are offering STEM programs. The activities of the STEM Coalition has slowed down since September 2009.


Nurturing children’s interest in natural and social sciences from the kindergarten or primary school can increase the odds of success in STEM subjects during the studies in the secondary school.

STEM supports technology learning within each subject related to engineering starting from the primary school. This gives the opportunity to every student to be educated according to the STEM education methodology, not only to gifted ones. Using the resources from the 2012 national budget, Barack Obama has renamed and spread the scholarship program, subsidizing the upskilling programs for STEM teachers.

STEM education often implies the usage of new technologies such as 3D printers for the stimulation of interest among the students.

In 2006 the USA has been concerned with the reduction in the number of qualified STEM teaching staff. The US Committee on Science, Technology and Public Policy has developed a list consisting of 10 steps. Their main recommendations were:
- Increase the American qualified staff as a result of the improvement of science and maths education;
- Develop teacher skills through additional trainings in science, mathematics and technology;
- Increase the student base that are eager to start STEM-related programs in colleges.

NASA is also offering programs aimed at the promotion of STEM education in order to refill the reserve of scientists, engineers and mathematics who will be leading space exploration in the 21st century.

Other states such as California have started special STEM programs to find out what are the most effective methods of STEM teaching that would result into a better student performance. One more state that has invested into STEM education is Florida. Here was created the first Florida Institute of Technology that specializes in STEM.

STEM ideology reached a new educational level due to the appearance of master’s degrees in STEM, such as STEM program at the Maryland University, or the University of Cincinnati.


The Department of Labor has defined 14 STEM-skill dependent sectors which are projected to create a significant amount of new workplaces, influence the growth of other sectors and transform them with the help of technology and innovation: manufacturing, automotive industry, building industry, finance, technology, cartography, internal security, IT, aerospace industry, biotechnology, energy industry, health industry.

The Department of Commerce has pointed out that STEM education gives the opportunity to obtain the most well-paid professions. Moreover, such specialists will have a huge potential for professional growth. It has also been noted that STEM-qualified workforce are playing the key role in USA economy growth.

The countries where the STEM ideology has been approved and applied are China, Canada, USA, Australia, Turkey.

STEM education

Updated on 2020-04-14T15:01:14+00:00, by bogdan.