What does STEM stand for: a guide for parents

what does stem stand for
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Have you ever wondered how the decisions made in the present moment might repercuss in the future? Making a decision about the educational method that will guide your child’s school journey is incredibly meaningful – and that’s when learning about STEM is important. You may have heard this buzzword, but do you know what does STEM stand for? 

STEM is not only a methodology, but it can also represent an investment in your children’s lives. It is focused on expanding soft and hard skills that can truly help the child standing out from the crowd when they’re older. 

Parents and caretakers that are involved in the mission of investing in a brighter future for their kids have a lot to benefit from learning about STEM. 

What is STEM?

Here is the acronym unraveled: STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. It might sound like a combination of subjects that are somewhat scary to most people because these subjects might seem too hard, complicated, challenging or not initially connected to our daily routines. 

But a STEM based educational methodology takes advantage of this “bad” reputation and turns it around. 

Children that grow and develop around a STEM based methodology are encouraged to see more than meets the eye: there’s a whole new educational approach on these topics. The result is that they become familiar to a student. 

Expectations over a STEM-based curriculum

It’s expected that an educational curriculum based on STEM actually offers more opportunities when it comes to the student’s future. The reason for that is simple: if the child is not “afraid” or intimidated by the subjects, the learning process is enhanced

As a result, they can truly use what they learn around these topics and aim at careers that might revolve around the matters. 

They will not be scared of becoming scientists, engineers, teachers, researchers. Mathematics, instead of a mere school subject, becomes a means towards an end, a problem-solving tool

Children should not be afraid to learn. STEM (and STEAM, but we’ll get to that in a moment) based methodologies are fully anchored on making the child familiar with challenging topics and developing around them instead of avoiding these subjects. 

How each topic in STEM is applied 

Now that you know what the acronym stands for, understand more on what is expected for the students’ to apprehend from these subjects. 


When we think about science, you might come across an image of a person leaning into a microscope, but science is a lot more than the cliche, especially when it comes to children’s education. 

This is literally the ability to learn about the world around you. Investigate, understand the reasoning or the origins of whatever matter means that your child’s curiosity is being well-used. 


This is the topic that has changed the game when it comes to social interactions and work future. Technology is around our lives from the time we turn off our phone’s alarm until the selection of subjects that impact us in our social media. 

A child that grows having a full understanding of how technology operates and how to use it for good purposes is an essential part of an ever-changing society.  


If Science is related to the What and Why, Engineering is all about the How

This is not limited to building and huge projects, as the word might bring up, but more on how pieces connect: what does it take to put together something with the proper structure that will last as long as expected? 


Children shouldn’t be scared of formulas, grouping different elements together in order to find a missing answer

Since a proper understanding of Mathematics helps to develop logical thinking, Math could not be overlooked as part of a strong educational method

STEM education disciplines and future work 

It’s important to notice that disciplines that compose STEM are not studied and appreciated separately. In fact, as it’s combined, a whole new educational model is formed, which focuses on upscaling children’s skills on solving problems, using their creativity to look for solutions, and being able to analyze a given situation. 

There is a gap on the matter of filling work opportunities for STEM competences. These occupations include computer, mathematical, engineering and architecture, life and physical science occupations. Also includes sales occupations requiring scientific or technical knowledge at a not so dense level. 

These types of jobs tend to pay better than the so-called traditional job positions. There is also a perspective of an increase in the work demand for professionals that are skilled with STEM competences. 

Is it becoming more clear on how choosing a STEM based education might open more doors in your child’s work life? 

Differences between STEAM and STEM

STEAM is very similar to STEM, but with a twist: the A stands for Art, which is actually related to subjective learning and acknowledgments.

The inclusion of the word “Art” does not necessarily mean that your child will become an engineer with artsy abilities (although this would probably be great for them!). The Art element is way more connected to the development of emotional and sensitive perceptions

This means that your child’s future might be harmed and less complete than expected if they are not equipped with emotional intelligence

Developing such skills focused on feelings, connections and understanding are key when it comes to experiencing empathy. The ability to learn from another person, or even make a  smart decision based on what this person is going through are characteristics of a true leader

Allowing your child’s sensibility to flourish might be what discern them from the crowd when they’re at their work age. 

In conclusion: what does STEM stand for? 

Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics are the topics that constitute STEM. When the Arts is added to the combination, you have STEAM, an even more complete educational approach which is focused on developing soft and hard skills on children as they are young so that they master those credentials when they reach their adult age.  

STEAM is one the main educational methods we incorporate at Amazing Explorers Academy. Our school plans allow children of all ages starting from 6 months old: have a look at AEA’s programs and start investing in your child’s future today!

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