What is STEM?

(Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)

In its broadest sense, STEM is an initiative for securing America’s leadership in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields and identifying promising strategies for strengthening the educational pipeline that leads to STEM careers.

Why is STEM education important? 

In the report “Tapping America’s Potential: The Education for Innovation Initiative,” the following statement is presented showing the importance of STEM:

 “For most of the 20th century, the American education system provided a substantial part of the talent and proficiency needed to sustain and improve our way of life. … Today, however, as the U.S. economy becomes even more reliant on workers with greater knowledge and technological expertise, the domestic supply of qualified workers is not keeping up with the skill demands.”

This need is demonstrated in the report by the following statistics:

  • By 2010, if current trends continue, more than 90 percent of all scientists and engineers in the world will be living in Asia.
  • More than 50 percent of all engineering doctoral degrees awarded by U.S. engineering colleges are to foreign nationals.
  • Although U.S. fourth graders score well against international competition, they fall near the bottom or dead last by 12th grade in mathematics and science, respectively.

To maintain our country's competitiveness in the 21st century, we must cultivate the skilled scientists and engineers needed to create tomorrow's innovations.

The business and labor community has been vocal about expressing their deep concern about the United States’ ability to sustain its scientific and technological competitiveness in the 21st century economy.

definition courtesy of

How Did Liberty Schools Become a STEM School?

To ensure that Ohio has a place in the 21st century economy, Governor Strickland and key legislators in the Ohio General Assembly have established and invested in a bold and coherent STEM education and economic growth portfolio.  One important investment involves the creation of K-8 STEM Programs of Excellence that will partner with higher education institutions and businesses.  The STEM Subcommittee of the Partnership for Continued Learning was established by state law (section 3326.04 of the Ohio Revised Code) and it gives the Subcommittee the authority to establish and award certain STEM grants through a request for proposals.  W.S.Guy Middle School applied for and received nearly $120,000 in grants for goods and services to include computers, individual response systems, video cameras, hardware and software to enhance the classroom environment, supplies for classroom materials,  training for teachers and support staff and funding to support a summer camp including supplies and transportation to run the camp at no charge to the student.  STEM's goals are to encourage students to become innovators and inventors, self-reliant and logical thinkers and technologically literate problem solvers.  Students will also receive rigorous and diverse curriculum that is based on scientific inquiry, technological design and engineering approaches to problem solving, emphasizing personalized learning and teamwork skills, exposing them to advanced scientific, mathematical, technical and engineering concepts.