If you are informed about our educational climate in America, it is likely that you have heard of S.T.E.M. or S.T.E.A.M. or even S.T.R.E.A.M.. These acronyms have become part of the mainstream culture but, what do they mean and why are they important?
The acronym, S.T.E.M. stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. When an “A” is added Art is incorporated and when a “R” is added Reading is incorporated. While these are not new subject areas, integrating them with each other is. S.T.E.M. curriculum is designed to mesh all four learning areas together so that students will understand how they relate to each other.
This approach to interdisciplinary study is an important aspect of our ever-evolving culture because the U.S. has seen a downturn in job-ready graduates in these areas. According to the U.S. department of education, jobs in S.T.E.M. fields are expected to grow between 16 and 62 percent*. These areas include jobs such as software developers, biomedical engineers, web developers, and information security analysts, just to name a few, but there are many more!
Your local libraries have many resources available that will help inspire students to pursue a career in a S.T.E.M. job field. Design and Build Your Own Website by Anna Leigh walks you through the ins and outs of website developing. Readers will be introduced to paid and free options for website hosting and learn tips to get people looking at their website. So You Want to Be a Coder? by Jane Bedell “debugs the secrets behind a career in this diverse, cutting-edge industry” (Summary, book jacket). This book follows a Q&A format in which the author is asking questions and the interviewee is answering them. Cloud-Based Computing by Larry Gerber explains the difference between traditional computer usage and cloud-based computer usage. “Cloud” is a term used to describe digital information not stored on one specific device. Hello World!: Computer Programming for Kids and Other Beginners by Warren and Carter Sande demystifies the programming language “Python”. In addition to thoroughly explaining what Python is, it also gives you step-by-step directions for programming.
If jobs in computers and programming don’t make the cut, you can use Universal Class to explore Health & Medical continuing education classes such as Medical Terminology 101, Caring for Seniors, and even Depression Management. Perhaps participating in one of these classes will inspire the inner S.T.E.M. specialist that our world is in need of.
No matter what your aspirations are, the library can help guide your journey! To check the availability of the above items please visit www.myhlc.org and click “Access Library Catalog.” For more information about Universal Class or other digital services the library offers, call your local branch of the Heartland Library Cooperative. Be sure to check library events for S.T.E.M. or S.T.E.A.M. activities, free of charge!