What is STEM?

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Do any of your students spend hours outside with a telescope on breezy nights, excitedly locating and pointing out constellations? Or devote a few hours every night to teaching themselves how to code, hoping to create their own website or app one day?

If so, they may have an interest and potential career path in STEM.

According to Live Science, STEM is a “curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines—science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.” While students can take separate classes in each of these four subjects, STEM education can also take an interdisciplinary approach and integrate all subjects to make it a cohesive learning experience.

Why is it so important?

Not only do students learn a handful of important skills in STEM courses, such as problem solving and critical thinking, but these jobs are also in high demand—and only becoming increasingly more important.

Last year, it was projected that 2.4 million STEM jobs would go unfulfilled. Meanwhile, from now until 2027, STEM jobs are expected to grow 13%. And if you’re wondering what jobs fall under the STEM umbrella, and how important they are, here are some examples:

  • Software Engineer
  • Pharmacy Technician 
  • Green Power Creator
  • Web Developer
  • Environmental Engineer

These jobs are crucial to sustaining and improving society as a whole, whether it’s finding ways to distribute information or discovering solutions to environmental issues.

How is STEM implemented in curriculum?

With the knowledge that STEM is significant to our success as a society, how do we make sure students are prepared to pursue a major and potential career in one of the many related fields? And more than that, how do we cultivate an interest in these subjects?

The first step is to make sure STEM is being integrated into your curriculum across the board. Chances are you offer science and math courses independently, but you can introduce key concepts and skills from STEM into classes you already have or partner with a virtual high school to provide more classes and expand your students’ opportunities.

But that’s not enough. The second and equally important step is to engage students. These subjects are not easy and there has been a declining interest in STEM over the last few years, making it harder to steer students in the direction of possibly pursuing a career in a related field. 

Schools like ASU Prep Digital use technology to keep students engaged and excited to learn, whether it’s launching a crew on a mission to Mars in their BioBeyond course, or taking virtual field trips. Giving students more virtual or hands-on activities enhances the learning experience and shows them how the concepts they’re mastering apply to real-world situations and careers.

STEM education is a vital part of every student’s education and introducing it in high school courses is a great way to pique their interest and encourage them to pursue it in future courses in college, and beyond.

 

Interested in learning more about how ASU Prep Digital incorporates STEM into their curriculum? Check out the career pathways students can explore within the STEM field and which courses are recommended for each major.

 

Four Areas of Interest You Can Turn Into Career Pathways

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You know what they say—if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. While it might seem like the start of your career is lightyears away, you’re actually building the foundation for your future right now. All of the things you love to do help you develop skills and knowledge in a variety of fields, which means it’s even more possible to do what you love and get paid for it. Check out these four areas of interest and what career pathways they can lead to:

Film

Who doesn’t love movies? If you’re the friend who spends hours dissecting and watching movies, reading screenplays, and learning about the history and culture of filmmaking, a career in the film industry might be on the horizon for you. ASU offers a degree in Film and Media Studies—and you can get started right now. By taking concurrent courses, such as Film History, Introduction to New Media, and Screenwriting Fundamentals, you’ll earn university credits and potentially complete 12 of the 39 required courses before you even begin your freshman year of college.

Digital Art

Are you fascinated by art and how it has become intertwined with technology? Do you play video games or watch movies and wonder how they’re made? There are jobs out there for you! ASU offers a degree in Digital Culture (Art), which can lend itself to careers in graphic design, video game design, or photography. By taking concurrent courses, such as Introduction to Digital Culture, and Digital Photography, you’ll earn university credits and potentially complete 10 of the 41 required courses before you graduate high school.

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)

Do you enjoy stargazing or model building? An interest in these hobbies can actually lead to awesome careers in STEM. ASU offers an assortment of majors that fall under STEM and Earth and Space Exploration. From Aeronautics to Astrophysics to Civil Engineering, you are bound to find a pathway that will excite you. By enrolling in concurrent courses like Introduction to Engineering or Introduction to Global Health, you’ll be one step closer to a college degree before you even step on a college campus. In fact, you’ll begin your freshman year with ¼ of your required courses completed!

Health

Are you an advocate for exercise and nutrition? Are you always looking to help those around you? A career in the health field may be in your future! ASU offers a variety of majors in Health and Wellness, including Exercise and Wellness, Nursing, and Nutrition. Concurrent courses such as Introduction to Psychology or Found Health & Well-Being will give you a taste of what you’ll be learning when you take courses for your major in your junior year. Not to mention, you’ll be earning university credit and completing several courses while still in high school.

Taking concurrent courses that earn you both high school and university credit is a unique opportunity, which means being a Sun Devil gives you a head start on turning your passion into a career. 

Check out the different career pathways students can take to find the one that best fits your interests!