STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Recent studies have shown that America’s students are falling behind in STEM disciplines and are also far less interested in STEM than their international peers.
In recent years, there has been a significant decline in the number of college students choosing majors in science or technology related fields. Much of this has to do with poor preparation for the classes during high school and the intense work required outside of the lecture setting in places like laboratories. Students have chosen easier majors and courses of study in place of taking on the fields that they wanted to enter due to poor preparedness. If the graduation rates continue with this trend, there will be a workforce shortage in areas of engineering and science fields.
The United States needs to be more competitive and build new standards for our students. The National Science Foundation “estimates that 80% of the jobs created in the next decade will require some form of math and science skills.” In order for our children to see the advancements in their generations that we saw in ours, it is important that they have a well-balanced education that includes STEM elements, as well as, traditional classes in the Arts. STEM education is designed to teach the “whole” student and in turn will make them more successful members of society. (source: Understanding the Basics of STEM Education)
Typically taught as individual subjects in the past, STEM aims to incorporate all of these subject areas into a curriculum that is driven by discovery, problem solving, and collaboration. The focus changes from a teacher-centered classroom to a student-centered program that teaches independent innovation.