STEM is the umbrella term used to group the technical subjects Science, Technology Engineering and Mathematics. The phrase has become popular in the 21st century when referring to a large part of the educational curriculum and careers in a growing industry.
In today’s modern society, STEM education has grown to be extremely important because STEM can be linked to many aspects of our lives. For example, although maths, science or engineering many not be of interest to all children, every child has a high level of understanding and knowledge when it comes to technology, which is heavily used to enhance their learning experience.
STEM education also helps children to develop invaluable skills that will be a huge benefit to them no matter what industry they choose to go into later in life. One of these important skills is problem solving - a skill that is highly desirable for a range of jobs. Maths and Science for example teaches students how to tackle real life problems and how to analyse the finer details, leading them to know how to think logically and find solutions.
With the range of skills STEM learning can provide for an individual, there is also a vast range of careers within the industry that allow opportunities to make a positive impact on our world. Some of the exciting STEM careers that young people have been going into include Software Development, Engineering, Data Science and Cybersecurity, as well as roles developing sustainability.
Although STEM is thriving year on year, there are many interesting facts about this sector that may not be known to everyone, yet crucial for those who are intrigued to find out more about studying STEM subjects and progressing to having a STEM career.
STEM education develops language skills
Studying English at school is recognised as subject that will help a child develop their language skills, however STEM learning also plays a huge part in improving literacy skills. It involves in depth research, carrying out investigations and participating in projects, which are tasks that test a child’s reading, writing, listening and speaking skills - all of which are needed whether a child pursues STEM in the future or not.
Science covers a broad range of subjects, not just Physics, Chemistry and Biology
When people think of Science subjects or Science-based careers, the main areas that come to mind are Physics, Chemistry and Biology; however, the Social Science subjects are also in the STEM umbrella. Social Sciences include Psychology, Sociology, Law, History, Geography, Archaeology, Economics, Linguistics and Anthropology.
Students can pursue STEM outside of the educational curriculum
There are multiple ways a student can get more STEM related experience away from school, for example through summer camps, online courses and volunteering to name a few. At EDT, we offer a range of programmes that will give young people opportunities to study STEM in an interactive way providing a taster of what a STEM career can look like. Our Routes into STEM experiences, Virtual Routes into STEM and Face to Face Routes into STEM, give Year 9 & Year 10/S3 & S4 students the chance to explore different pathways into a STEM career during the term time holidays.
STEM education develops social skills
There is a lot of independent study involved in STEM learning, but there are also opportunities for group work both in and outside of the classroom. Participating in group activities enables young people to conduct themselves well in group settings and increases their confidence when it comes to presenting their ideas in front of an audience, which are all essential in the workplace.
There will be nearly 3 million people in the UK working in STEM by 2026
According to a study by Careers Smart, it is predicted that by 2026, there will be almost 3 million people working in a STEM occupation, which is a 2.9% increase in STEM industry employment from 2022. This study also estimates that Production Managers and Directors in Manufacturing will be the most popular STEM occupations in 2026.