Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education: A Primer [August 1, 2012] [open pdf - 507KB]
From the Summary: "The term 'STEM education' refers to teaching and learning in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. It typically includes educational activities across all grade levels--from pre-school to post-doctorate--in both formal (e.g., classrooms) and informal (e.g., afterschool programs) settings. Federal policymakers have an active and enduring interest in STEM education and the topic is frequently raised in federal science, education, workforce, national security, and immigration policy debates. For example, more than 200 bills containing the term 'science education' were introduced between the 100th and 110th congresses. The United States is widely believed to perform poorly in STEM education. However, the data paint a complicated picture. By some measures, U.S. students appear to be doing quite well. For example, overall graduate enrollments in science and engineering (S&E) grew 35% over the last decade. Further, S&E enrollments for Hispanic/Latino, American Indian/Alaska Native, and African American students (all of whom are generally underrepresented in S&E) grew by 65%, 55%, and 50%, respectively. […] This report is intended to serve as a primer for outlining existing STEM education policy issues and programs. It includes assessments of the federal STEM education effort and the condition of STEM education in the United States, as well as an analysis of several of the policy issues central to the contemporary federal conversation about STEM education. 'Appendix A' contains frequently cited data and sources and 'Appendix B' includes a selection of major STEM-related acts."
CRS Report for Congress, R42642