STEM - An important acronym
Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) agenda has become an very important issue for schools in general and the part that design and technology can play in its delivery is central.
The STEM Programme Report was published by the DfES and DTI in October 2006, having been set up to examine the range of initiatives that currently support this agenda and to look for ways to enhance the effectiveness of Government funding in two areas: the flow of qualified people into the STEM workforce; and STEM literacy in the population. The government sees the first of these two areas as critical – with a huge expansion in the numbers of graduates leaving engineering degree courses in India and the Pacific rim combined with the declining numbers studying these types of courses in the UK and the USA, there are serious concerns about how vacancies in these employment sectors are to be filled in the future.
As well as contributing its own body of knowledge and skills to the STEM agenda, D&T provides pupils with the opportunity to bring together learning that takes place elsewhere and use it in real situations, designing and making products that draw on for instance the understanding of scientific and mathematical principles. The development of STEM in schools is being supported by the opportunity to attend professional development courses, here. The generation of resources and through STEMNET, access to the STEM Ambassador Scheme. http://www.stemnet.org.uk/content/stem-ambassadors