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Friday, October 2, 2015

What is STEM?

“I’ve heard people talking about STEM careers or STEM education. What does it mean?”

STEM is an acronym that stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. The term was coined around the early 2000s by Dr. Judith Ramaley, who at the time was working as the assistant director of education and human resources at the National Science Foundation. According to Eleanor Chute’s 2009 article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the acronym was originally “SMET.” Dr. Ramaley made the change not only because she found SMET to be an unappealing word but also because she thought putting science and math first in the acronym made it seem as though they were more important.  “STEM” gives a better balance between the four fields.

STEM has come into focus lately because educators are encouraging students to have fun with science, technology, engineering, and math, and not to shy away because they think they’re too challenging. These fields are always developing and will continue to do so in the future, and future STEM professionals could be instrumental in helping to develop new technologies and solve the problems of the world.

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