STEM is an acronym used to represent the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math. The STEM acronym originated during an interagency meeting on science education at the National Science Foundation, and it is frequently discussed in debates about education and how to prepare more qualified candidates for high-tech jobs. STEM education and jobs include the following subjects and fields:
- Computer and Information Technology Science
- Life Sciences
- Mathematical Sciences
- Social Sciences – Anthropology, Economics, Psychology, and Sociology
STEM education is a focus among governmental legislators and companies such as Brewer Science because 80 percent of the fastest-growing occupations in the United States require a mastery of mathematics and scientific knowledge. Unfortunately, the United States is not in a position to satisfy the growing need. The 2012 Program for International Student Assessment ranked the United States 27th and 20th in math and science, respectively.
A number of programs, budget adjustments, and grants have been introduced in recent years to address this growing concern, such as:
- President Obama’s 2012 budget: In 2012, President Obama renamed and broadened the “Mathematics and Science Partnership,” which awards block grants to states that improve teacher education in STEM subjects.
- National Aeronautics and Space Administration: This agency introduced and runs after-school programs and curricula to advance STEM education among teachers and students.
- Project Lead the Way: This national non-profit organization offers 5,200 STEM education programs to middle and high school students in 4,700 schools throughout all 50 states.
STEM education produces highly trained students with analytical talent, and it influences beneficial collaboration between universities and businesses. It also sparks an entrepreneurship mindset, which makes these programs extremely valuable to us at Brewer Science and everyone within STEM fields.
Kids like Joey Hudy, who created the marshmallow launcher at a White House Science Fair, motivate us to continue our dedicated approach to improving STEM education in the United States and locally. Our STEM series continues by looking into STEM's influence on economics and business, by exploring how Brewer Science helps grow STEM education, and by analyzing how it leads to new technology and expands our collaborative efforts.