What is STEM?

It’s likely that you’ve already heard and are familiar with the STEM acronym. STEM is used as a broad term that groups together Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics and is common in education and economic discussions. STEM addresses concern that historically these subjects have been taught in isolation with little focus on how they are connected. STEM involves the intentional integration of these four disciplines in an educational setting and creates a learning environment where students gain and enhance creativity, inquiry skills, critical analysis, teamwork and collaboration skills, initiative, communication skills, and problem-solving skills.

Why is STEM important for children & education?

STEM programs immerse students in an environment centered on innovation and creative thinking. Teaching children about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math at an early age can have immense positive impacts on them in later life. These disciplines teach children key life skills such as the ability to remain organized and focused, critical thinking skills, forming opinions based on observation and fact, and the development of senses and environmental awareness. STEM empowers children to be better learners and eventually doers and leads to innovation necessary to sustain our economy. STEM graduates and workers play a key role in our economy’s sustained growth and stability and are essential for winning the future.

In an increasingly complex, changing, technological world, STEM affords learners the skills necessary to succeed. STEM occupations are the fastest-growing occupational sector. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that STEM jobs will grow over 8% by 2029, with computing and engineering leading the way, with jobs in Software Development alone projected to grow more than 20%. In addition to increased demand in STEM fields, almost all of today’s careers require STEM skills. As technology advances, things continue to move to the cloud, and automation becomes more and more common, we continue to see an increased need for STEM knowledge in all sectors of our economy, from the service industry to hospitality and even the utilities where you receive your water, gas, and electric service. Young adults entering the workforce that do not possess science, math, and technology skills are at a severe disadvantage because STEM skills are vital for success in every industry sector.

Why is STEM important to United Systems?

We are beyond excited about the new STEM lab at Benton Elementary School. Our organization relies heavily on STEM graduates and employees graduates with degrees in Computer Science, Engineering, Telecommunications, Accounting, and related fields. As an organization whose core is technology, we understand how vital STEM education is to the future of the US economy and our local economy. Technology drives almost everything we do, both personally and professionally. The new STEM lab at Benton Elementary School offers students in our community a great opportunity to learn and grow.

"At United Systems, we're very interested in supporting and investing in our youth, community, and education system. We're excited to take part by making these educational tools available."
Scott Waldrop
President

We are privileged to contribute iPads to BES’ new STEM program. These iPads will be used by students working in teams to build and use rudimentary code to control robots in the classroom. Robotics and coding are just a few of the STEM students’ projects at Benton Elementary. We were thrilled to see the STEM lab and some of the students’ projects during our visit. Elementary students are working to solve real-world problems like creating tools to help farmers pollinate crops because of a reduction in the bee population. Students are learning vital critical thinking and problem-solving skills and interacting with technology and science in previously unavailable ways.

We are looking forward to seeing how students grow and flourish in STEM and know the future holds great things for BES students!

We want to thank BES for their commitment to STEM and, most importantly, their students! A special thanks to BES STEM teacher Kathy Colvett and BES principal Lorrie Shadowen for their dedication to our local children and passion for their future.

The BES STEM lab is still in need of several items. We would love to see our community come together to support this program that benefits BES students, our community, and the local economy. Below we have linked the BES STEM lab wish list for anyone interested in donating!