What is STEM?


What is STEM?

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education is an interdisciplinary approach to learning where rigorous academic concepts are coupled with real world lessons as students apply STEM disciplines in contexts that make connections between school, community, work, and the global enterprise. An applied approach means students participate in learning experiences where they are collaborating, creating, communicating, and solving problems across the disciplines. By encouraging students to ask questions, brainstorm creative ideas, and use academic principles to build and refine solutions, we are preparing them for the types of challenges they will meet in the real world.

STEM Learners:

  • Ask questions and arrive at meaningful conclusions
  • Persist through challenging problems
  • Develop 21st century skills, such as critical thinking, creativity and collaboration
  • Apply knowledge and skills to make connections across subject areas (e.g., Math, Science, and Sociology) to solve real world problems
  • Become proficient with technology
  • Learn about STEM career pathways
  • Develop a love for learning

Why focus on STEM?

Given our complex and changing world, we need tomorrow’s citizens to be equipped to meet our modern challenges. Learning in science, technology, engineering, and math—the subjects called “STEM” – builds the knowledge and skills needed to reason through tough problems and come up with creative, effective, and reasonable solutions. Preparing for the challenges and surprises that lie ahead requires helping all children develop these knowledge and skills. And, we need to make sure that every child in the next generation develops the skills demanded by the information age. STEM learning is a vital part of getting not only our nation, but the City of Chicago ready for the futureSTEM jobs are in high demand

  • Experts predict there will be 1 million+ job openings in stem-related fields over the next 3-5 years
  • STEM degree holders enjoy higher earnings in STEM and non-STEM occupations
  • Today there are nearly twice as many STEM job postings as there are qualified candidates

Building skills in and outside the classroom, via real-world settings really helps to generate interest and spark learning in these vital subjects. Students can’t be what they can’t see!

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