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Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM)

What is STEM?

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and maths.

It is generally used as a term to describe this group of subjects.

Why are these subjects important?

STEM subjects are absolutely vital to business and industry. In Staffordshire (and across the country) there is a real shortage of people with knowledge and skills in these subjects.

Lots of students avoid STEM subjects because they are perceived as hard or boring, but the reality is that STEM subjects push the limits of the modern world and are central to many of the exciting developments we see around us.

With skills and knowledge in STEM subjects in high demand but short supply, choosing to further their learning in a STEM subject is likely to land your son or daughter some of the best jobs around.

Rolls-Royce, whose headquarters are in neighbouring Derbyshire, explain why STEM, and investing in STEM education is so vital to their global business. In 2015, Rolls-Royce reached a
staggering 1.6 million chidlren and young people through their STEM education programmes and activities.

Credit: Rolls-Royce

How can I support my son or daughter with STEM?

One of the best things you can do is to open their eyes to the opportunities that pursuing their learning in a STEM subject can bring.

It’s never too early to start with this, but it becomes even more important when choosing GCSEs and A-Levels or other post-16 learning options.

Open their eyes to the possibilities

A quick search online will reveal lots of great videos around potential STEM-related jobs and careers to spike their interest. Here’s a couple of the best to get you started.

Sam Grief's mechanics apprenticeship at JCB

Credit: Department for Education

Rebecca Crossdale's journey to becoming a Senior Level Designer in the gaming industry

Credit: Department for Education

You might also want to download the Parents’ Guide to Careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (713 kb) created by the people at STEM Learning. This guide suggests ways in which you can maximize your son or daughters interest in STEM subjects to improve their chances of gaining STEM qualifications.

What might my son or daughter’s school be doing around STEM?

STEM subjects are part of the National Curriculum, so your son or daughter will be learning these topics at school.

Secondary schools are also required to provide independent careers advice to students, and so should be exploring opportunities related to STEM subjects as part of this.

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