What is STEM?

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. You’ve probably heard your teachers talking about it, and you might even have a STEM club at you school. People are trying to link them together into one grand field in order to increase you interest in the specific parts, but the truth is they are all intrinsically linked anyway.

Instead of just learning a math equation, you are using that to help build a catapult (engineering), looking at the effects of being hit by a catapult on the human body (science), and making an animation to show it all off (technology).

The reality is, most jobs that involve these fields are not exclusive. Even if you are a ‘scientist’, you rarely work with ‘just science’. You will see from the stories of our People that they interact with so many different areas of STEM that is almost seems silly to have them separated in the first place!

Science

Science can be much more than your basic biology, chemistry, and physics. Most science careers involve a combination of fields, so chances are you will be working with all three. It certainly isn’t just about ‘knowing stuff’, but the stuff you are learning in school is the basics that you need to be able to train your brain and start to learn about the world around you. But science is so much more than learning facts – it’s about discovering new things, refining things we already know a bit about, solving problems, and making stuff too.

Read the stories of people who work in science here.

Technology

Generally we think of technology as the part that involves all things I.T. (no, not the clown, but the computers who made the CG in the movie for sure). It can, however, be much more broad than that. Think anything to do with machines, tools, equipment, etc, that you might use in the other fields. Robotics, computer science, communication, nanotechnology – these all fall within the broad field of technology.

Read the stories of people who work in technology here.

Engineering

Engineering is basically using knowledge of everything from science, mathematics, economics, society, even finance, to actually do things. This can include inventing, improving, planning, designing, building, researching, maintaining, and innovating; and can be applied to physical structures, tools, machines, virtual systems, potential scenarios, and even entire organisations.

Read the stories of people who work in engineering here.

Mathematics

You might think this is the least relevant topic, and not useful unless you want to be a ‘mathematician’ or a math teacher. The truth is, though, that learning mathematics isn’t about the formulae themselves – rather, it is about training your brain to be able to work with numbers, patterns, statistics, models, logic, measurement, space, change, and structures. All areas of life use mathematics, most of the time you just don’t realise it. For any of the above fields to be successful, correct mathematics must be applied. So even if you don’t want to work in mathematics specifically, it will apply to every other area of STEM.

Read the stories of people who work in mathematics here.

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