What is STEM, exactly?

Graphic showing STEM in a starburst explaining Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

If you have followed Groovy Lab in a Box for a while, you may have noticed that we reference “STEM” a lot. However, you may be wondering: “What is STEM, exactly?” Let’s take a look at what STEM is and why it is so important to the United States.

What does STEM mean?

STEM is an acronym for “Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics”. This acronym is used to describe a type of curriculum in school – from kindergarten through college. The idea behind STEM is to make the United States more competitive in technology development by bringing up generations of students who can excel in high-tech jobs (we like to call this generation, “STEMists”.) Without these STEMists, the U.S. could face a workplace development crisis.

For example, right now, only 16% of children graduating from American high schools are proficient in math and interested in a STEM career. However, jobs such as systems software developers, medical scientists and biomedical engineers will have the most career opportunities by 2020.

Graphic with a bar chart showing Projected Percentage Increases in STEM Jobs: 2010-2020.

STEM Education

As you can see, emphasizing STEM is critical in our schools, and it has not gone unnoticed by our federal government. In May 2013, the National Science and Technology Council issued a five-year strategic plan to respond to the lack of STEM education in our country’s schools. Other organizations, such as the STEM Education Coalition, are working hard to tell policymakers about STEM and how preparing our students is critical to the future of the U.S.

Groovy Lab in a Box STEM For Kids

We are doing our part, too. Each month, our subscription service focuses on delivering STEM education to your doorstep and computer. At Groovy Lab in a Box, we believe that children are natural STEMists with an innate sense of curiosity and inquiry that can flourish under the right conditions. We also believe that learning can be fun. We created Groovy Lab in a Box to encourage children to channel their natural STEMists. Whether they are building rockets or creating an electrical circuit, children are enjoying the learning process, and applying analytical skills that will transfer to the classroom, and later, their careers.

So, there you have it: STEM in a nutshell. As you can see, STEM is a vital part of our children’s education – and the future competitiveness of the U.S. Here are some resources where you can learn more about STEM:

Want to bring STEM learning right to your door step? Check out our monthly subscription programs! Your STEMists will love our monthly themed STEM investigations and engineering design challenge.

Infographic courtesy of http://www.ed.gov/stem

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