2b. Classifying and Defining STEM Placements
DISCUSSION: STEM PLACEMENTS
As of July 2018, a new checkbox will identify STEM Placements, based on the industry and/or career focus of each job/internship placement.
When entering a job/internship placement, use your understanding of STEM career fields to decide whether to check the checkbox to identify a placement as a STEM-FOCUSED PLACEMENT. To decide, look at the industry cluster and career focus of the placement, but also look at the learning goals of the placement, to see if the intention is to expose the student to STEM concepts and STEM career paths. Consider the elements of STEM:
· Science – understanding the natural world, including practical applications to health and nutrition, engineering, agriculture and environment, as well as exploring scientific research in all areas of science.
· Technology – Using information technology, robotics, smart devices and/or manufacturing technology
· Engineering – Using engineering concepts and approaches to solve problems
· Math – Using math for in-depth work, including finance, accounting, insurance or statistical research
STEM Industry Clusters include:
· Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture
· Health Care
· Information Technology
· Manufacturing, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math
STEM Career Focus Areas include (but not limited to):
· Agriculture and Natural Resources Cluster
· Finance Cluster
· Health Sciences Cluster
· Information Technology Cluster
· Manufacturing Cluster
· STEM Cluster
Other career focus areas can be included as STEM if the emphasis is clearly on STEM – for example a “Robotics Educator Intern” who is working in a science museum is working in an Education career area and industry, but the placement should still be classified as a STEM-focused placement.
Note that the INDUSTRY CLUSTER is based on the type of employer. For example:
· A physical therapy office or a hospital is in the Health Care cluster;
· A school, college, library or museum is in the Education and Child Care cluster;
· A software company is in the Information Technology cluster;
· A farm, agricultural extension service or veterinarian office is in the Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture industry cluster;
· A YMCA, YWCA or Boys and Girls Club is in the Human Services cluster.
The “Career Focus” of the placement is based on the occupational focus of the job/internship. For example, a Web Development Intern has a career focus in the “Information Technology Cluster,” specifically “Computer Programming and Web Development.” A Web Development Intern could be working in a software company, school, college, hospital, retail company or other type of worksite, but still has the same Information Technology career focus, and should be classified as a STEM-FOCUSED PLACEMENT.
Since this is a new field, we recommend that you use it thoughtfully, and that we review data during the year to adjust these guidelines as needed. We want any lists and counts of STEM placements to truly reflect a STEM flavor and focus, accurately reflecting our desire to provide students with access to STEM career fields.