What is STEM?
The acronym stands for Science/Technology/Engineering/Math, and it typically is used when addressing education policy and curriculum choices in schools to improve competitiveness in science and technology development. STEM Curriculum Specialist Nancy Tsupros defines it more specifically as follows:
STEM education is an interdisciplinary approach to learning where rigorous academic concepts are coupled with real-world lessons as students apply science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in contexts that make connections between school, community, work, and the global enterprise enabling the development of STEM literacy and with it the ability to compete in the new economy. (Tsupros, 2009)
STEM was created to encourage a greater focus on science and math disciplines, in order to build a workforce equipped for the high-tech jobs in the future. Simply teaching math and science using technology cannot accomplish this. STEM is about changing the way we approach these disciplines. It’s about going beyond the classroom and prepping students for the real world.