STEM education is an interdisciplinary approach to learning which integrates the study of science, technology, engineering and mathematics into a cohesive learning paradigm. Rather than teaching the four disciplines as completely separate and discrete subjects, STEM offers an integrated approach where students are challenged to draw connections between their learning and the real-world.
STEM focuses on these areas together not only because the skills and knowledge in each discipline are essential for student success, but also because these fields are deeply intertwined in the real world and in how students learn most effectively. The underlying purpose of STEM education is therefore to equip students with critical thinking, problem solving, creativity and communication skills, necessary for future success in a wide range of occupations.
On a global scale, efforts to encourage students to take up STEM subjects have been on the rise in recent years. However, Australian enrolments in almost every STEM subject area have continued to fall over the last decade. Strong performance in STEM is critical to future economic growth, encouraging curiosity and reflection in the students of today will ensure we come closer to closing the STEM skills gap in Australia.