What is STEM?!?

Science Technology Engineering Math

This page is all about STEM field access and basic information.  It is intended to provide foundational information for students who are interested in studying and working in STEM careers and educators, counselors, or parents who are trying to support them.

First things first:  Fundamental and Applied Science

Fundamental science asks basic questions.  For example, if you discovered a new species you could ask:   What do they look like?  Who are they related to?  What are they doing?  What is the environment they live in like?  Where else might we find this environment?  

Applied science uses what we already know about a species, environment or process, for example, and finds ways to use that information to solve problems, develop new technologies, or streamline present processes or technologies.

Question for you?  What are you interested in:  discovering new knowledge or taking knowledge we have and applying it in new ways OR working in fields that use what we already know.  If you'd like to create new knowledge, you're interested in research!

Next:  What is considered a STEM field?

While there is no set answer to this question, any field that relates to science, technology, engineers and mathematics can be a STEM discipline.  The key distinction is whether you're creating new knowledge or new applications of that knowledge or are you using what we have already learned.

For online support in identifying STEM disciplines, here are some links:
  • O*Net on-line
    • List of STEM fields
    • Click on the field for specific information regarding tasks, knowledge base, wages, and so much more!
  •  My Next Move
    • Browse careers by keyword or industry
    • Take a personal inventory to find out what kinds of work you might enjoy

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