What Aspects of STEM Are Addressed in This Report?
Although there are a variety of perspectives on what STEM education in K-12 schools entails, for the purposes of this report the committee focused its analysis on the science and mathematics parts of STEM. This decision was influenced by the fact that the bulk of the research and data concerning STEM education at the K-12 level relates to mathematics and science education. Research in technology and engineering education is less mature because those subjects are not as commonly taught in K-12 education.3 Although integrating STEM subjects is not the focus of this report, the committee recognizes the variety of conceptual connections among STEM subjects and the fact that science inquiry and engineering design provide opportunities for making STEM learning more concrete and relevant.
The nature and potential value of integrated K-12 STEM education are the focus of an ongoing study of the National Academy of Engineering and the National Research Council by the Committee on Integrated STEM Education. It is expected to be completed in 2013.