Going beyond STEM

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Engineers of Tomorrow is a not-for-profit that is shaping the engineering narrative by telling better stories. 

Posted January 15, 2020

Most people have heard of STEM. It’s an acronym commonly used in the education system. It stands for science, technology, engineering, and math.

It’s also becoming an industry unto itself with STEM toys and STEM camps popping up all over the place.

But have you heard of SETT?

A quick search on Wikipedia would have you believe that it’s the home of a badger. LOL!

But to us it stands for something more important.

Science

Engineering

Technology

and Trades.

It’s not that we have anything against math! In fact we would argue that math is a tool that crosses all four pillars of science, engineering, technology, and trades.

What we really love about  SETT is that it goes beyond stem. It is representative of real world learning applications.

These days it’s hard to do anything in isolation. Most projects require input from the scientists, the engineers, the technologists, and the tradespeople.

They work together and overlap their knowledge and experience in so many ways. It just  makes sence to group these categories together.

In the past I have questioned why STEM is even grouped together at all! What value is added by grouping these subjects?

In fact I could argue that by applying the STEM label, the individual uniqueness of each letter gets a little lost.

I suppose the same could be true when we talked about SETT. But I think the distinction is in the way we use the acronym.

The motivation of grouping science, engineering, tech, and trades together seems to be more about collaboration. Whereas the STEM label seems more about convenience and marketing.

Would love to hear your thoughts! What are you really saying when you use the STEM acronym?

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