In an ever-changing, increasingly complex world, it’s more important than ever that our nation’s youth are prepared to bring knowledge and skills to solve problems, make sense of information, and know how to gather and evaluate evidence to make decisions. These are the kinds of skills that students develop in science, technology, engineering, and math—disciplines collectively known as STEM. If we want a nation where our future leaders, neighbors, and workers have the ability to understand and solve some of the complex challenges of today and tomorrow, and to meet the demands of the dynamic and evolving workforce, building students’ skills, content knowledge, and fluency in STEM fields is essential. We must also make sure that, no matter where children live, they have access to quality learning environments. A child’s zip code should not determine their STEM fluency.
Charting a Course for Success: America’s Strategy for STEM Education
The STEM Education Strategic Plan, published in December 2018, sets out a federal strategy for the next five years based on a vision for a future where all Americans will have lifelong access to high-quality STEM education and the United States will be the global leader in STEM literacy, innovation, and employment. It represents an urgent call to action for a nationwide collaboration with learners, families, educators, communities, and employers—a “North Star” for the STEM community as it collectively charts a course for the Nation’s success. The Department is an active participant in each of the interagency working groups focused on implementation of the plan.
In October 2019, the Office of Science and Technology Policy at the White House issued the Progress Report on The Federal Implementation of The STEM Education Strategic Plan. This report provides an update on how federal agencies are implementing the STEM Strategic Plan and what activities are they doing. Organizations from across the country are aligning their STEM efforts with the Strategic “North Star” Plan as well. This report reflects the shared value of STEM education and training to our Nation, and also demonstrates the power of coordination in achieving important national goals.
Department Offices that Support STEM
Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development (OPEPD)
Office of Career, Adult, and Technical Education (OCTAE)
Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE)
Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS)
Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE)
Office of Educational Technology (OET)
Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA)
Institute of Educational Sciences (IES)
White House Initiatives
Federal Student Aid (FSA)
Promoting Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math (STEM) Education, With a Particular Focus on Computer Science
STEM is a centerpiece of Secretary DeVos’ comprehensive education agenda. The STEM priority may be used across the Departments’ discretionary grant programs to further the Department’s mission, which is “to promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access.”