What is STEM? it seems like a simple question with a simple answer: science, technology, engineering and math. But we all know it’s not that simple. Like a combination lock with four variables … and 10,000 combinations …there are a lot of ways that STEM subjects may combine or connect. Unlike a combination lock, the number of potential combinations is nearly limitless given the number of potential subjects in each discipline, how those subjects combine within a job and the fact that you likely need skills and or knowledge of more than one subject in each discipline to be good at what you do.
Fortunately the federal government has it all sorted out ….. right?
Not so fast. The fact is that federal definitions of STEM are based on legislation … right … legislation, not necessarily ….science. The National Science Foundation is the lead agency – and they’ve been updating their definition of STEM Subjects nearly every year. Fortunately they give us some way of defining STEM by using the Department of Education’s curriculum identification codes. So how many STEM subjects are there? 422: unless you talk to the Department of Homeland security in which case there are only 136.
But wait … the Department of Labor also has a list … not based on curriculum codes, but on their own occupational taxonomy and they suggest that there are 167 STEM occupations within four domains and 20 occupation types … and then there are STEM occupations and STEM-related occupations … like most healthcare jobs.
Yeah … that’s confusing. If the government can’t agree on what STEM is … how can we possibly figure it out? And when it comes to actually teaching STEM in a classroom context … you got it — more combinations, more options …. more complexity. And it all falls on the STEM teacher to figure it out for their students – who are expected to gain the right level of skill and knowledge in the right subjects to be prepared for a college major and eventually a job … that they will love. It’s a daunting challenge. And it’s a challenge that we at STEM Jobs are addressing head on with our newly released Classroom Series training resources.
If you teach STEM, if you know someone that teaches STEM or STEM subjects if you want to double (yes double) student engagement in your classroom… these free training videos are for you!
We’ve reviewed hundreds of hours of material, thousands of pages of research and identified the 7 Principles that drive better engagement in the classroom and lead to students pursuing STEM subjects and STEM careers.
Don’t wait! get started today by clicking here or clicking the button below.
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