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STEM - Science Technology Engineering & Math

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) is an integrated, interdisciplinary, and student-centered approach to learning that encourages curiosity, creativity, artistic expression, collaboration, communication, problem solving, critical thinking and design thinking.
STEM education in Pennsylvania is built on the following foundational beliefs:
  • All students are capable of STEM literacy;
  • Iteration and reflection are an important part of the STEM learning process;
  • STEM education transcends the classroom walls, integrating into the community;
  • STEM education success depends upon the partnership between educators, students, families, postsecondary providers, legislators, business and industry.
Since taking office, Governor Wolf has demonstrated a commitment to STEM education in the commonwealth. The Administration aims to increase enrollment in STEM-specific majors at state-supported postsecondary institutions by 10,000 by 2020. Between 2018 and 2026, STEM jobs will be growing at a rate of 9.1% annually, totaling approximately 190,000 new positions requiring STEM skills or content knowledge. Through 2026, occupations that include software developers will grow rapidly at a rate of 26% annually, while occupations that include engineering jobs will grow at a rate of 4% annually. Under Governor Wolf’s leadership, Pennsylvania has made early and important progress in delivering more resources to schools and classrooms, and fostering collaborative, cross-sector dialogue to support STEM education, work-based learning, career pathways, and college access and completion.

STEM Ecosystems in Pennsylvania

Did you know? Pennsylvania was recently recognized as a national leader in STEM education for its five regional STEM ecosystems and their collaborative efforts. STEM learning ecosystems encompass schools, businesses, community settings including after-school and summer programs, science centers, libraries and museums, and other environments that together constitute a rich array of learning opportunities.
“There are abundant opportunities available for careers in STEM fields, and we know that students interested in these fields deserve access to training programs and cooperatives that can help them develop needed skills and knowledge. These regional ecosystems bring STEM education to communities across the commonwealth, providing students from all areas with the resources and tools they need to pursue an interest in science and technology.” - Secretary of Education Pedro A. Rivera

View an interactive digital map of Pennsylvania’s formal, informal, and emerging STEM ecosystems.

The Governor’s STEM Competition

Three years ago, the Pennsylvania Department of Education and Governor Wolf developed a themed competition focused on exposing students to STEM jobs, skills, and concepts.
We know that Pennsylvania is home to some of the most technologically diverse and scientifically sophisticated companies in the world. As more and more STEM employment opportunities are created each day across the commonwealth, it is critical for students to have an understanding of the concepts and skills that will be invaluable to them as they move in to these high priority occupations.
The competition is open to high school student teams across the commonwealth who are challenged to research, present, and design a prototype that is capable of making the quality of life better for citizens of Pennsylvania. Each participating team at the regional and state level engages with a community business partner as a mentor to guide them through their project, while connecting STEM to the skills and competencies needed in future career opportunities. Over the last three years, more than 420 student teams have participated, engaging with a community business partner.


The Department of Education offers the following STEM resources for download and promotion:


PBS 39 filmed and premiered an innovative series on STEM education in Pennsylvania. Watch videos from the series.