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[Overseas Information] Direction of STEM Education and Organizations

It has been 17 years since the National Science Foundation (NSF) changed the acronym SMET to STEM. STEM/STEAM education has been expanding all over the world under various purposes such as national policies and international circumstances. Nationally and internationally, its importance is increasing.

This article will roughly outline the stream and direction of STEM education and information of organizations that are seen in the public information of governmental bodies.




The STEM education budget for 2018, which had a possibility of substantial reduction, finally increased slightly. Judging from the 2018 budget, STEM education seems to be propelled by the current administration with some kinds of continuity from the past. Regarding the situation of STEM education in the US, government bodies have stipulated to secure human resources for STEM-related jobs that will result in relatively larger incomes, and foster innovative human resources that lead to socio-economic prosperity. These are universal challenges. If any effective approaches and programs are validated, the information will be highly adaptable to many countries that have similar goals or educational curricula. 


In terms of K-12 school education, governmental support for schools through non-profit organizations has been the mainstream of STEM education. At the same time, how each industry, such as automobile, energy, and sports, has been making efforts for school education is receiving attention as well. Being aligned with each other, cross-border education collaboration and implementation are growing. The successful results will surely be expected. ‘The Next Step’ and ‘Conclusion’ written in the Summary of The White House State-Federal STEM Education Summit (June 28, 2018) are suggestive of this.


Organizations in the US

 STEM Education Coalition *national organization

 NSTA(National Science Teachers Association)*science teachers

 Afterschool STEM Hub *learning practices

 SAE Foundation, Inspiring Curiosity in STEM *automotive Industry



◆ EU

The European Commission has focused on the promotion of educational policy on STEM of EU member countries since the 1990s. In addition to encouraging the act of choosing STEM-related jobs and majoring in STEM fields at university, member countries and non-profit organizations within the EU have made systematic studies of STEM exemplars. According to The STEM Action Plan toward 2020 (2012-2020), from 2016, the emphasis will be on girls, technical and vocational secondary education, and young people with a disadvantaged socio-economic background. The state of the EU such as sharing responsibilities with member countries and articulate plans and explanations for schools to implement a policy is suggestive of this.


◆ Organizations in the EU

 EU STEM Coalition *STEM platforms for EU member states

 STEM Alliance *coordinated by both European Schoolnet and CSR Europe

SCIENTIX * originally coordinated by European Schoolnet, now funded by the Horizon 2020 programme of the EU



◆ UK

The research and implementation on STEM have been carried out for many years. At an early stage, the focus was on science, engineering, and technology (SET), but from around 2006, ‘STEM’ has been widely used. However, SET is still used depending on the context. Although SET for Success was written in 2002, the major challenges of today were already raised.


According to The UK STEM Education Landscape (2016), the structure of stakeholders is highly complex and it is hard to grasp the increasing numbers of STEM-related organizations. The tendency that STEM often associates with economic growth and social changes makes the situation intricate and this has been seen worldwide.


While STEM education is progressing in the UK, what it says in Delivering STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) skills for the economy (2018) provides stimuli; there is no stable and consistent set of definitions for STEM, there is a STEM skills mismatch rather than a simple shortage, and it is difficult to predict the impact of the UK’s exit from the EU.


The key actions required by 2020 are written in Careers Strategy: Making the Most of Everyone’s Skills and Talents (2017). To achieve the goal, practical measures to improve outcomes are required.


◆ Organizations in the UK

 National STEM Learning Centre and Network *the largest provider supported by Government

   - STEM Clubs *reaching 100% of UK secondary schools, providing support and resources for schools and teachers

 Year of Engineering  *a government campaign that provides tools and resources


(Mina Kisaki, CRET Researcher)

Mina Kisaki

CRET Researcher

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