What is STEM?

STEM squares

Everyone from state and national leaders to industry CEOs agree that STEM education is critical to the success of our country to remain competitive in the world marketplace, produce global leaders, and to guarantee a strong economy.

As stated by the US Department of Education:

In a world that is becoming increasingly complex, where success is driven not only by what you know, but by what you can do with what you know, it’s more important than ever for our youth to be equipped with the knowledge and skills to solve tough problems, gather and evaluate evidence, and make sense of information. These are the types of skills that students learn by studying science, technology, engineering, and math—subjects collectively known as STEM. All young people should be prepared to think deeply and to think well so that they have the chance to become the innovators, educators, researchers, and leaders who can solve the most pressing challenges facing our nation and our world, both today and tomorrow.

Students become competitive and marketable with these critical 21st Century STEM skills:

  • Broad-based critical thinking
  • Problem solving
  • Innovating and Inventing
  • Analytical and logical thinking
  • Technological literacy
  • Collaboration
  • Leadership

Profiles of the 21st Century Learner and 21st Century Learning Environment in STEM Education

Why is STEM important to the United States?

A robust STEM educated labor force enables the US to remain competitive in the global marketplace, producing world leaders, and building a strong economy. It is imperative that present and future generations of boys and girls build strong STEM skills enabling the US to continue as a world leader in research, technology, innovation, engineering, and manufacturing .


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