STEM Defined

What is STEM?

STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics education. We focus on these areas together not only because the skills and knowledge in each discipline are essential for student success, but also because these fields are deeply intertwined in the real world and in how students learn most effectively. STEM is an interdisciplinary and applied approach that is coupled with hands-on, problem-based learning.

A STEM-literate student is not only an innovator and critical thinker, but is able to make meaningful connections between school, community, work and global issues. A STEM-literate high school graduate can enroll in a college-level course of study in science, technology, engineering, and math without the need for remediation. STEM skills are increasingly necessary to engage in a knowledge-based economy. There is solid evidence to suggest that the fastest-growing and highest-wage jobs in future years will be in STEM fields and all employees will need to utilize STEM skills for problem solving in a wide range of industries.

What separates STEM from the traditional science and math education is the blended learning environment and showing students how the scientific method can be applied to everyday life. It teaches students computational thinking and focuses on the real world applications of problem solving. As mentioned before, STEM education begins while students are very young:

  • Elementary school — STEM education focuses on the introductory level STEM courses, as well as awareness of the STEM fields and occupations. This initial step provides standards-based structured inquiry-based and real world problem-based learning, connecting all four of the STEM subjects. The goal is to pique students' interest into them wanting to pursue the courses, not because they have to. There is also an emphasis placed on bridging in-school and out-of-school STEM learning opportunities.
  • High school — At this stage, the courses become more rigorous and challenging. Student awareness of STEM fields and occupations is still pursued, as well as the academic requirements of such fields. Student exploration of STEM related careers begins at this level.
  • Preparatory school — The program of study focuses on the application of the subjects in a challenging and rigorous manner. Courses and pathways are now available in STEM fields and occupations, as well as preparation for post-secondary education and employment. More emphasis is placed on bridging in-school and out-of-school STEM opportunities.

Science

Science is the study of the natural world, including the laws of nature associated with physics, chemistry, and biology and the treatment or application of facts, principles, concepts, or conventions associated with these disciplines. It is an exciting process of discovery that allows us to link facts into understanding the natural world! Science is both a body of knowledge that has been accumulated over time and a process—scientific inquiry—that generates new knowledge. Knowledge from science informs the engineering design process.

In order to prepare our students to globally compete outside of the school setting, the Science section of the STEM disciplines is developing STEM interdisciplinary curriculum and resources to provide the necessary connections between the various disciplines.  Students will learn content in context to the topic being studied and not as an isolated curriculum to mimic the outside world.  In STEM careers, workers use science, math, engineering, and technology to solve problems and generate new ideas that lead to new jobs and new industries.

To explore more about science curriculum and other resources, click the links below. 

Kindergarten Science

Elementary School Science (Grades 1-8 )

High School Science (Grades 9-10)

Preparatory School Science (Grades 11-12)

Technology

Technology, while not a discipline in the strictest sense, comprises the entire system of people and organizations, knowledge, processes, and devices that go into creating and operating technological artifacts, as well as the artifacts themselves. Throughout history, humans have created technology to satisfy their wants and needs. Much of modern technology is a product of science and engineering, and technological tools are used in both fields.

 Engineering

Engineering is both a body of knowledge-about the design and creation of human-made products—and a process for solving problems. This process is designed under constraint. One constraint in engineering design is the laws of nature, or science. Other constraints include time, money, available materials, ergonomics, environmental regulations, manufacturability, and reparability. Engineering utilizes concepts in science and mathematics as well as technological tools.

 Mathematics

Mathematics is the study of patterns and relationships among quantities, numbers, and space. Unlike in science, where empirical evidence is sought to warrant or overthrow claims, claims in mathematics are warranted

through logical arguments based on foundational assumptions. The logical arguments themselves are part of mathematics along with the claims. As in science, knowledge in mathematics continues to grow, but unlike in science, knowledge in mathematics is not overturned, unless the foundational assumptions are transformed. Specific conceptual categories of K–12 mathematics include numbers and arithmetic, algebra, functions, geometry, and statistics and probability. Mathematics is used in science, engineering, and technology.

To explore more about mathematics curriculum and other resources, click the links below. 

Kindergarten Mathematics

Elementary School Mathematics(Grades 1-8 )

High School Mathematics(Grades 9-10)

Preparatory School Mathematics(Grades 11-12)

More about STEM? Watch this Video

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