What is STEM and why is it important?

The acronym STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and is important because it influences every part of our lives. STEM affects every part of our lives on a daily basis. Science is found in our natural world, our agriculture, in the fuel that heats our homes and powers transportation. Technology is in our hands in the form of a smartphone or a computer. Engineering is the basic design of everything from roads and bridges to appliances and machinery. Math is encountered at the grocery store, the bank, on tax forms. A curriculum that is STEM-based has real-life application.

Another compelling point is that STEM careers are the fastest growing, and most lucrative occupations available in a rapidly changing world. According to the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, STEM occupations are growing at 17%, while others are growing at less than a 10% rate. These STEM professionals are in charge of solving the complex problems of today's world and its future. STEM careers are hands-on problem-solving occupations that challenge people to find solutions.

Therefore, it is imperative that all students have the opportunity to participate in a highly innovative, invigorating, and challenging STEM program.

Elementary STEM at YPS

Young students ask, on average, nearly 300 questions a day. They have a natural curiosity. They observe, investigate, and discover the world around them. They generate hypotheses and test them without even knowing. They take in information and use that information to guide their behavior. Yukon Public Schools understands the importance of this innate curiosity and strives to guide young children in their exploration, and identify natural learning opportunities through developing foundational STEM skills.

Currently, YPS has designated STEM instructors at two PreK-3 sites and at both 4-5 sites. All other elementary sites serve our students by bringing STEM into the regular classroom. YPS continues its efforts to build a strong STEM program at this level.

STEM websites for Elementary students



Secondary STEM at YPS

Yukon Public Schools offers two transformative STEM programs at the secondary sites.

Yukon Middle School offers numerous Project Lead the Way courses that engage their students in hands-on engineering experiences and real-life medical detective "crime scenes."

Yukon High School incorporates the Project Lead the Way Computer Science pathway, allowing students to build apps, learn to code, and explore cybersecurity. YHS also utilizes the Advanced Careers curriculum provided by SREB to develop engineering skills through a rigorous hands-on curriculum linked to workforce problems.

Websites to visit

Project Lead the Way

Southern Regional Education Board

STEM Workforce websites

Oklahoma State Department of Education: STEM Education

Career Tech

Oklahoma Expanded Learning Network