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STEM is an acronym first coined in the 1990s in the United States. An acronym is an abbreviation that is formed by taking the initial letters of the words in a phrase and creating a new word that is pronounceable. We will examine the meaning of the term STEM, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

STEM is an acronym for the words Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics. The term is primarily used to discuss education and academics, as well as the workforce. The  National Science Foundation originally used the acronym SMET, but in 2001 it officially changed the acronym to STEM. The concern about educating students in STEM areas first arose in the 1950s when some felt that the United States was falling behind in the space race. Over the decades, as technology has advanced at a rapid pace, the concern with educating a workforce that can fill these technical jobs has only increased. While it is true that students must keep apace of the STEM disciplines, many caution that it cannot be at the expense of the humanities such as literature, history and the arts.


Although this adage is something that is often accepted, it wasn’t fully understood at what age boys and girls begin to deviate in terms of interest in STEM fields and their self-confidence about performing in those fields. (The Daily of the University of Washington)

With just over two men for every woman working in STEM careers, they continue to promote women in the field and narrow the gender gap. (The Costa Rica News)

Now, all three are involved with Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics activities, and the older two hope to pursue STEM-related careers. (The Newark Advocate)