Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education: A Primer. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Heather B. Gonzalez and Jeffrey J. Kuenzi. August 1, 2012.
The term “STEM education” refers to teaching and learning in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. It typically includes educational activities across all grade levels– from pre-school to post-doctorate–in both formal (e.g., classrooms) and informal (e.g., afterschool programs) settings. Federal policymakers have an active and enduring interest in STEM education and the topic is frequently raised in federal science, education, workforce, national security, and immigration policy debates. For example, more than 200 bills containing the term “science education” were introduced between the 100th and 110th congresses.
The United States is widely believed to perform poorly in STEM education. However, the data paint a complicated picture. By some measures, U.S. students appear to be doing quite well.
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