STEM fields

STEM fields

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Encyclopedia
STEM fields is a US Government acronym for the fields of study
Academic discipline
An academic discipline, or field of study, is a branch of knowledge that is taught and researched at the college or university level. Disciplines are defined , and recognized by the academic journals in which research is published, and the learned societies and academic departments or faculties to...

 in the categories of science
Science
Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe...

, technology
Technology
Technology is the making, usage, and knowledge of tools, machines, techniques, crafts, systems or methods of organization in order to solve a problem or perform a specific function. It can also refer to the collection of such tools, machinery, and procedures. The word technology comes ;...

, engineering
Engineering
Engineering is the discipline, art, skill and profession of acquiring and applying scientific, mathematical, economic, social, and practical knowledge, in order to design and build structures, machines, devices, systems, materials and processes that safely realize improvements to the lives of...

, and mathematics
Mathematics
Mathematics is the study of quantity, space, structure, and change. Mathematicians seek out patterns and formulate new conjectures. Mathematicians resolve the truth or falsity of conjectures by mathematical proofs, which are arguments sufficient to convince other mathematicians of their validity...

. The acronym is in use regarding access to work visas for immigrants
Immigration to the United States
Immigration to the United States has been a major source of population growth and cultural change throughout much of the history of the United States. The economic, social, and political aspects of immigration have caused controversy regarding ethnicity, economic benefits, jobs for non-immigrants,...

 who are skilled in these fields. Maintaining a citizenry that is well versed in the STEM fields is a key portion of the public education
Public education
State schools, also known in the United States and Canada as public schools,In much of the Commonwealth, including Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United Kingdom, the terms 'public education', 'public school' and 'independent school' are used for private schools, that is, schools...

 agenda of the United States. Substantial lobbying
Lobbying
Lobbying is the act of attempting to influence decisions made by officials in the government, most often legislators or members of regulatory agencies. Lobbying is done by various people or groups, from private-sector individuals or corporations, fellow legislators or government officials, or...

 is underway in Washington, DC to raise awareness of STEM education issues.

Examples


An exhaustive list of STEM disciplines does not exist, but the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is a federal law enforcement agency under the United States Department of Homeland Security , responsible for identifying, investigating, and dismantling vulnerabilities regarding the nation's border, economic, transportation, and infrastructure security...

 lists disciplines including:
  • Physics
    Physics
    Physics is a natural science that involves the study of matter and its motion through spacetime, along with related concepts such as energy and force. More broadly, it is the general analysis of nature, conducted in order to understand how the universe behaves.Physics is one of the oldest academic...

  • Actuarial Science
    Actuarial science
    Actuarial science is the discipline that applies mathematical and statistical methods to assess risk in the insurance and finance industries. Actuaries are professionals who are qualified in this field through education and experience...

  • Chemistry
    Chemistry
    Chemistry is the science of matter, especially its chemical reactions, but also its composition, structure and properties. Chemistry is concerned with atoms and their interactions with other atoms, and particularly with the properties of chemical bonds....

  • Mathematics
    Mathematics
    Mathematics is the study of quantity, space, structure, and change. Mathematicians seek out patterns and formulate new conjectures. Mathematicians resolve the truth or falsity of conjectures by mathematical proofs, which are arguments sufficient to convince other mathematicians of their validity...

  • Computer Science
    Computer science
    Computer science or computing science is the study of the theoretical foundations of information and computation and of practical techniques for their implementation and application in computer systems...

  • Biochemistry
    Biochemistry
    Biochemistry, sometimes called biological chemistry, is the study of chemical processes in living organisms, including, but not limited to, living matter. Biochemistry governs all living organisms and living processes...

  • Robotics
    Robotics
    Robotics is the branch of technology that deals with the design, construction, operation, structural disposition, manufacture and application of robots...

  • Computer Engineering
    Computer engineering
    Computer engineering, also called computer systems engineering, is a discipline that integrates several fields of electrical engineering and computer science required to develop computer systems. Computer engineers usually have training in electronic engineering, software design, and...

  • Electrical Engineering
    Electrical engineering
    Electrical engineering is a field of engineering that generally deals with the study and application of electricity, electronics and electromagnetism. The field first became an identifiable occupation in the late nineteenth century after commercialization of the electric telegraph and electrical...

  • Mechanical Engineering
    Mechanical engineering
    Mechanical engineering is a discipline of engineering that applies the principles of physics and materials science for analysis, design, manufacturing, and maintenance of mechanical systems. It is the branch of engineering that involves the production and usage of heat and mechanical power for the...

  • Civil Engineering
    Civil engineering
    Civil engineering is a professional engineering discipline that deals with the design, construction, and maintenance of the physical and naturally built environment, including works like roads, bridges, canals, dams, and buildings...

  • Aerospace Engineering
    Aerospace engineering
    Aerospace engineering is the primary branch of engineering concerned with the design, construction and science of aircraft and spacecraft. It is divided into two major and overlapping branches: aeronautical engineering and astronautical engineering...

  • Chemical Engineering
    Chemical engineering
    Chemical engineering is the branch of engineering that deals with physical science , and life sciences with mathematics and economics, to the process of converting raw materials or chemicals into more useful or valuable forms...

  • Astrophysics
    Astrophysics
    Astrophysics is the branch of astronomy that deals with the physics of the universe, including the physical properties of celestial objects, as well as their interactions and behavior...

  • Astronomy
    Astronomy
    Astronomy is a natural science that deals with the study of celestial objects and phenomena that originate outside the atmosphere of Earth...

  • Nanotechnology
    Nanotechnology
    Nanotechnology is the study of manipulating matter on an atomic and molecular scale. Generally, nanotechnology deals with developing materials, devices, or other structures possessing at least one dimension sized from 1 to 100 nanometres...

  • Nuclear Physics
    Nuclear physics
    Nuclear physics is the field of physics that studies the building blocks and interactions of atomic nuclei. The most commonly known applications of nuclear physics are nuclear power generation and nuclear weapons technology, but the research has provided application in many fields, including those...

  • Mathematical Biology
    Mathematical biology
    Mathematical and theoretical biology is an interdisciplinary scientific research field with a range of applications in biology, medicine and biotechnology...

  • Operations Research
    Operations research
    Operations research is an interdisciplinary mathematical science that focuses on the effective use of technology by organizations...

  • Neurobiology
  • Biomechanics
    Biomechanics
    Biomechanics is the application of mechanical principles to biological systems, such as humans, animals, plants, organs, and cells. Perhaps one of the best definitions was provided by Herbert Hatze in 1974: "Biomechanics is the study of the structure and function of biological systems by means of...

  • Bioinformatics
    Bioinformatics
    Bioinformatics is the application of computer science and information technology to the field of biology and medicine. Bioinformatics deals with algorithms, databases and information systems, web technologies, artificial intelligence and soft computing, information and computation theory, software...

  • Acoustical Engineering
    Acoustical engineering
    Acoustical engineering is the branch of engineering dealing with sound and vibration. It is the application of acoustics, the science of sound and vibration, in technology. Acoustical engineers are typically concerned with the manipulation and control of sound....

  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Atmospheric Sciences
    Atmospheric sciences
    Atmospheric sciences is an umbrella term for the study of the atmosphere, its processes, the effects other systems have on the atmosphere, and the effects of the atmosphere on these other systems. Meteorology includes atmospheric chemistry and atmospheric physics with a major focus on weather...


The National Science Foundation
National Science Foundation
The National Science Foundation is a United States government agency that supports fundamental research and education in all the non-medical fields of science and engineering. Its medical counterpart is the National Institutes of Health...

  is the only American federal agency whose mission includes support for all fields of fundamental science and engineering, except for medical sciences. It lists its disciplinary program areas as:
  • Biological Sciences
  • Computer & Information Science & Engineering
  • Education and Human Resources
  • Engineering
  • Environmental Research & Education
  • Geosciences
  • International Science & Engineering
  • Mathematical & Physical Sciences
  • Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences
  • Cyberinfrastructure
  • Polar Programs


The Department of Labor identifies fourteen sectors that are "projected to add substantial numbers of new jobs to the economy
Economy of the United States
The economy of the United States is the world's largest national economy. Its nominal GDP was estimated to be nearly $14.5 trillion in 2010, approximately a quarter of nominal global GDP. The European Union has a larger collective economy, but is not a single nation...

 or affect the growth of other industries or are being transformed by technology and innovation requiring new sets of skills for workers."
  • Advanced Manufacturing
    Advanced Manufacturing
    There is no one comprehensive, widely-accepted definition of Advanced Manufacturing . The phrase is used by many organizations in different, sometimes conflicting, ways...

  • Automotive
  • Construction
  • Financial Services
    Financial services
    Financial services refer to services provided by the finance industry. The finance industry encompasses a broad range of organizations that deal with the management of money. Among these organizations are credit unions, banks, credit card companies, insurance companies, consumer finance companies,...

  • Geospatial Technology
  • Homeland Security
    Homeland security
    Homeland security is an umbrella term for security efforts to protect states against terrorist activity. Specifically, is a concerted national effort to prevent terrorist attacks within the U.S., reduce America’s vulnerability to terrorism, and minimize the damage and recover from attacks that do...

  • Information Technology
    Information technology
    Information technology is the acquisition, processing, storage and dissemination of vocal, pictorial, textual and numerical information by a microelectronics-based combination of computing and telecommunications...

  • Transportation
  • Aerospace
    Aerospace
    Aerospace comprises the atmosphere of Earth and surrounding space. Typically the term is used to refer to the industry that researches, designs, manufactures, operates, and maintains vehicles moving through air and space...

  • Biotechnology
    Biotechnology
    Biotechnology is a field of applied biology that involves the use of living organisms and bioprocesses in engineering, technology, medicine and other fields requiring bioproducts. Biotechnology also utilizes these products for manufacturing purpose...

  • Energy
    Energy industry
    The energy industry is the totality of all of the industries involved in the production and sale of energy, including fuel extraction, manufacturing, refining and distribution...

  • Healthcare
  • Hospitality
    Hospitality industry
    The hospitality industry consists of broad category of fields within the service industry that includes lodging, restaurants, event planning, theme parks, transportation, cruise line, and additional fields within the tourism industry. The hospitality industry is a several billion dollar industry...

  • Retail


The Department of Labor
United States Department of Labor
The United States Department of Labor is a Cabinet department of the United States government responsible for occupational safety, wage and hour standards, unemployment insurance benefits, re-employment services, and some economic statistics. Many U.S. states also have such departments. The...

's Bureau of Labor Statistics
Bureau of Labor Statistics
The Bureau of Labor Statistics is a unit of the United States Department of Labor. It is the principal fact-finding agency for the U.S. government in the broad field of labor economics and statistics. The BLS is a governmental statistical agency that collects, processes, analyzes, and...

 publishes a Occupational Outlook Handbook. STEM fields careers are some of the best-paying and have the greatest potential for job growth in the early 21st century
21st century
The 21st century is the current century of the Anno Domini era or the Common Era in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. The century began on January 1, 2001 and will end on December 31, 2100. The years from 2001 to 2010 are historical; the years from 2011 to 2100 are subject to futurology and...

.

Related groups and legislation


American Competitiveness Initiative
In the State of the Union Address
State of the Union Address
The State of the Union is an annual address presented by the President of the United States to the United States Congress. The address not only reports on the condition of the nation but also allows the president to outline his legislative agenda and his national priorities.The practice arises...

 on January 31, 2006, United States President George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 announced the American Competitiveness Initiative
American Competitiveness Initiative
The American Competitiveness Initiative is a federal assistance program intended to help America maintain its competitiveness through investment in research and development and education. The ACI’s focus is on programs that are likely to strengthen U.S. competitiveness by targeting funding to...

. Bush proposed the initiative to address shortfalls in federal government support of educational development and progress at all academic levels in the STEM fields. In detail, the initiative called for significant increases in federal funding for advanced R&D programs (including a doubling of federal funding support for advanced research in the physical sciences through DOE
United States Department of Energy
The United States Department of Energy is a Cabinet-level department of the United States government concerned with the United States' policies regarding energy and safety in handling nuclear material...

) and an increase in U.S. higher education graduates within STEM disciplines.

In 2006, the United States National Academies
United States National Academies
The United States National Academies comprises four organizations:* National Academy of Sciences * National Academy of Engineering * Institute of Medicine * National Research Council...

 expressed their concern about the declining state of STEM education in the United States. Its Committee on Science, Engineering and Public Policy developed a list of 10 actions federal policy makers could take to advance STEM education in the United States to compete successfully in the 21st century. Their top three recommendations were to:
  • increase America’s talent pool by improving K-12 science and mathematics education;
  • strengthen the skills of teachers through additional training in science, math and technology; and
  • enlarge the pipeline of students prepared to enter college and graduate with STEM degrees.


The National Aeronautics and Space Administration also has implemented programs and curricula to advance STEM education in order to replenish the pool of scientists, engineers and mathematicians who will lead space exploration in the 21st century.

The NASA Means Business competition, sponsored by the Texas Space Grant Consortium, furthers that goal. College students compete to develop promotional plans to encourage students in middle and high school to study STEM subjects and to inspire professors in STEM fields to involve their students in outreach activities that support STEM education.

The National Science Foundation
National Science Foundation
The National Science Foundation is a United States government agency that supports fundamental research and education in all the non-medical fields of science and engineering. Its medical counterpart is the National Institutes of Health...

 has numerous programs in STEM education, including some for K-12 students such as the ITEST Program that supports The Global Challenge Award ITEST Program.
STEM programs have been implemented in some Arizona schools. They implement higher cognitive skills for students and enable them to inquire and use techniques used by professionals in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematical fields.

The STEM Education Coalition
"The Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education Coalition works to support STEM programs for teachers and students at the U. S. Department of Education
United States Department of Education
The United States Department of Education, also referred to as ED or the ED for Education Department, is a Cabinet-level department of the United States government...

, the National Science Foundation
National Science Foundation
The National Science Foundation is a United States government agency that supports fundamental research and education in all the non-medical fields of science and engineering. Its medical counterpart is the National Institutes of Health...

, and other agencies that offer STEM related programs." A list of organizations that are part of the STEM Coalition can be found on its homepage. Activity of the STEM Coalition seems to have slowed since September, 2009.

America COMPETES Act of 2007
The America COMPETES Act (P.L. 110-69) became law on August 9, 2007. The act responds to concerns that the United States may not be able to compete economically with other nations in the future due to insufficient investment today in science and technology research and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and workforce development. The America COMPETES Act is intended to increase the nations investment in science and engineering research and in STEM education from kindergarten to graduate school and postdoctoral education.

The act authorizes funding increases for the National Science Foundation
National Science Foundation
The National Science Foundation is a United States government agency that supports fundamental research and education in all the non-medical fields of science and engineering. Its medical counterpart is the National Institutes of Health...

 (NSF), National Institute of Standards and Technology
National Institute of Standards and Technology
The National Institute of Standards and Technology , known between 1901 and 1988 as the National Bureau of Standards , is a measurement standards laboratory, otherwise known as a National Metrological Institute , which is a non-regulatory agency of the United States Department of Commerce...

 (NIST) laboratories, and the Department of Energy
United States Department of Energy
The United States Department of Energy is a Cabinet-level department of the United States government concerned with the United States' policies regarding energy and safety in handling nuclear material...

 (DOE) Office of Science over FY2008-FY2010.

Measures


Robert Gabrys, Director of Education at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
Goddard Space Flight Center
The Goddard Space Flight Center is a major NASA space research laboratory established on May 1, 1959 as NASA's first space flight center. GSFC employs approximately 10,000 civil servants and contractors, and is located approximately northeast of Washington, D.C. in Greenbelt, Maryland, USA. GSFC,...

, articulated success as increased student achievement, early expression of student interest in STEM subjects, and student preparedness to enter the workforce.

See also

  • Hard and soft science
    Hard and soft science
    Hard science and soft science are colloquial terms often used when comparing scientific fields of academic research or scholarship, with hard meaning perceived as being more scientific, rigorous, or accurate...

  • NASA RealWorld-InWorld Engineering Design Challenge
    NASA RealWorld-InWorld Engineering Design Challenge
    NASA RealWorld-InWorld Engineering Design Challenge encourages students in grades 7–12 to explore and to build skills for successful careers in science, technology, engineering, and math through two phases of project-based learning and team competition...

  • Pre-STEM
    Pre-STEM
    A Pre-STEM program is a course of study at any two-year college that prepares a student to transfer to a four-year school to earn a baccalaureate degree in a STEM field....

  • Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Network
    Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Network
    The Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Network or STEMNET is an educational charity in the United Kingdom that seeks to encourage participation at school and college into science and engineering-related subjects and work....

  • STEM Academy
  • NASA Pre-Service Teacher Institute

Further reading


External links