STEM education is a curriculum that focuses heavily on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
STEM schools and programs approach these key educational subjects in an integrated way so that elements of each one apply to the others. STEM-focused learning programs span from preschool through master's degree programs, depending on resources within a given school district or region.
If you're interested in digital modeling, learn about common modeling pitfalls beginners often experience and how to avoid them.
Engineering classes might include civil engineering, electronics, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and robotics.
Similar to science, mathematics is one STEM category with classes that will sound familiar, such as algebra, geometry, and calculus. However, when it comes to STEM math, kids are learning more advanced mathematics at younger ages, with introductory algebra and geometry starting as early as the third grade for some students, even those not enrolled in a STEM program. STEM math incorporates concepts and exercises that apply science, technology, and engineering to mathematics.
STEM has become a buzzword in education. Unfortunately, many people have a superficial understanding of STEM learning programs, but some grasp their impact on the bigger picture of education in the United States. STEM education modernizes the learning process for kids, bringing them up-to-speed on the skills and knowledge most relevant in today's society.
STEM initiatives emphasize inclusion, equality, and diversity to find and support talent. Diversity and inclusion boost innovation, creativity, productivity, and revenue in STEM fields.
Widespread STEM education helps people gain careers in computer networking, IT, and engineering. These jobs are in high demand, and STEM professionals are in short supply.
There's also concern that educators don't get clear-cut guidelines and curricula to follow in STEM education. For example, there's no standardized STEM certification for teachers. Further, students who choose a STEM focus in high school and beyond have such a challenging curriculum—mastering four disciplines—that there's little room for fun classes or exposure to new ideas.
STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics) is an offshoot of STEM that incorporates the arts to provide a more enriching educational focus. The idea is to integrate concepts with a real-world approach and create critical thinkers.
The STEAM movement is an answer to critics that feel STEM education doesn't adequately help children thrive because of its more limited focus. STEAM adds creativity and innovation to STEM and widens the learning pallet for children and young adults. It provides a blended learning environment that applies scientific thinking to all aspects of life.
Popular and in-demand STEM-related careers include: