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The term STEM refers to strategic approaches to integrate curricula of various areas in the physical, medical, biological sciences; computer and technology-related sciences; engineering; and mathematics. Common definitions of the disciplines found in the acronym support the rationale for integrating these various fields.

Science: The study and understanding of the physical or natural world.

Technology: How things work, or how the natural world can be manipulated to satisfy people’s needs.

Engineering: Using knowledge of the physical world to design and construct practical applications that are useful to humankind.

Mathematics: The science of patterns and the relationships between quantities.

Wilson, K. S. (2020). Stem. In M. Amey & M. David (Eds.), The SAGE Encyclopedia of Higher Education. Sage UK. Retrieved November 9, 2023, from