Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math


STEM is an acronym referring to the academic disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The term is typically used in the USA when addressing education policy and curriculum choices in schools from k-12 through college to improve competitiveness in technology development. It has implications for workforce development, national security concerns and immigration policy.


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 nation's 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 (NSF), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) laboratories,  and the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science. Robert Gabrys, Director of Education at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, articulated success as increased student achievement, early expression of student interest in STEM subjects, and student preparedness to enter the workforce.


In January 2014, the U.S. House Research and Technology Subcommittee held a hearing to examine STEM education programs run by the private sector. In 2014, the U.S. federal government plans to spend $3 billion on STEM education programs through a variety of federal agencies.