What is STEM?



STEM in the news! Earthquakes, Climate Change, Pandemics, Alternative Energy, Space Exploration, Hurricanes, Crime Scene Investigations, New Technologies are just a few of the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) topics that effect our daily lives. In the 2010 State of the Union address, the President of the United States emphasized the need for education initiatives that promote math and science.

While the United States remains the world leader in scientific research and discovery, economists have noted a decline in recent years- some even call it a crisis. Numerous foreign countries have shown advancements in STEM industries and the training of highly qualified personnel. Grave concern has emerged over this trend. A growing number of educators across the United States are determined to make STEM education a top priority for our students.

The 2007-2012 Roadmap to Florida’s Future identified the need to build world-class talent as a top priority for the state’s continued development and diversification. It specifically recommended strengthening PreK-12 math and science education. Our increasingly knowledge-based economy is driven by innovation – the foundation of which lies in a dynamic and well-educated workforce equipped with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) skills.

You can be a part of the effort to reaffirm the U.S. as the global STEM leader and contribute to the highly qualified workforce in Florida. How? – by applying your talent and skills to learning in an innovative setting that promotes STEM education.

STEM on the Job*

Most employers want workers who are able to reason and solve problems using some math, science, or technology knowledge. Key STEM skills include:

  • Analytical skills to research a topic, develop a project plan and timeline, and draw conclusions from research results
  • Science skills to break down a complex scientific system into smaller parts, recognize cause and effect relationships, and defend opinions using facts
  • Mathematic skills for calculations and measurements
  • Attention to detail to follow a standard blueprint, record data accurately, or write instructions
  • Technical skills, such as troubleshooting to identify the sources of a problem, repairing a machine or debugging an operating system, and computer capabilities to stay current on appropriate software and equipment

Think STEM is just for geeks? Not true! Many workers in STEM fields use “soft” skills at work as much as they use math and science. These soft skills include:

  • Communication and cooperation skills to listen to customer needs or interact with project partners
  • Creative abilities to solve problems and develop new ideas
  • Leadership skills to lead projects or help customers
  • Organization skills to keep track of lots of different information

* from Iseek Careers, http://www.iseek.org/careers/index.html

STEM Careers Include:

  • Aerospace Engineers
  • Agricultural Engineers
  • Aircraft Mechanics
  • Anthropologists
  • Archeologists
  • Archivists
  • Astronomers
  • Biologists
  • Biomedical Engineers
  • Cartographers and Photogrammetrists
  • Chemical Engineers
  • Chemists
  • Civil Engineers
  • Computer Systems Administrators
  • Electrical and Electronics Engineers
  • Engineering Managers
  • Environmental Engineers
  • Environmental Scientists
  • Food Scientists
  • Geographers
  • Geologists and Geophysicists
  • Historians
  • Industrial Engineers
  • Materials Engineers
  • Mathematicians
  • Mechanical Engineers
  • Medical Laboratory Technologists
  • Medical Scientists
  • Meteorologists
  • Natural Sciences Managers
  • Nuclear Engineers
  • Petroleum Engineers
  • Pharmacy Aides
  • Physicists
  • Political Scientists
  • Safety Engineers
  • Science Technicians
  • Ship Engineers
  • Social Science Research Assistants
  • Sociologists
  • Statisticians
  • Surveying and Mapping Technicians