What is STEM?
STEM subjects are briefly defined as follows:
- Science and science related subjects: e.g. medicine, nursing, agriculture, horticulture, dentistry, veterinary science, animal science, geology, astronomy, science elements of hairdressing, psychology and pharmacy.
- Technology: e.g. I.T., manufacturing technology, electricity transmission, telecoms.
- Engineering: e.g. aerospace, civil engineering, electrical engineering, motor mechanics, marine engineering, power engineering, construction.
- Mathematics: e.g. statistics, pure and applied mathematics
What is NIACE doing?
NIACE is working to ensure that all members of society have:
- Access to appropriate formal and informal learning opportunities in STEM subjects.
- Have the confidence to support their children's education and career choices in these areas.
- The opportunity to pursue STEM related careers and value the importance of science to the economy and to communities.
- The capacity to understand scientific evidence and risk and can make informed judgements on science related issues.
Published by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) in May 2009, The Demand for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths Skills identifies a skills gap in many areas of science, technology and engineering. NIACE is working to promote interest in and access to learning opportunities for adults in STEM related subjects, recognising their importance in helping adult learners contribute to closing the skills gap and increasing the likelihood of their employment.
The recent consultation Science and Society by BIS highlights the importance of society's engagement with science and technology, from science centres and festivals, to enabling citizen empowerment and decision-making. NIACE's work in this area focuses on promoting wider engagement from all sectors of society, including those currently excluded from scientific comment and debate.