Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics

The acronym STEM has emerged as a shorthand reference to the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and become increasingly popular as a way of emphasizing the many interconnections among these disciplines. The STEM fields developed in response to the need to make sense of the world and to deal with the real-world problems. They are cultural achievements, closely associated with advances in health, communication, and economic development. Policy makers around the world view a vigorous STEM workforce as a prerequisite for economic growth within a country or region. This entry describes research findings on the development of STEM knowledge and interest in early childhood, middle childhood, adolescence, and adulthood, with an emphasis on issues of diversity.

In contrast to oral language skills, competence in ...

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