Why STEM?

Three female students reviewing test tubes for a science experiment.

Science, technology and innovation are increasingly important to Canada’s economic well-being and quality of life. Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) help us understand and shape our day to day lives.

While the importance of science may not always be obvious, we actually make countless science-based choices each day. For managing our health and well being, STEM plays a key role.

STEM also builds skills. Doing science develops the ability to ask questions, collect information, organize and test ideas, problem-solve and apply what was learned. Even more, STEM offers a powerful platform for building confidence, developing communication skills and making sense of the world.

Many jobs that will be in high demand in the coming decades, from health care to skilled trades, require a background in STEM. But jobs in every field call for STEM skills – people who are analytical, creative, curious and critical thinkers who are able to make connections.

However, when Canadian youth choose to opt out of STEM courses once they’re no longer compulsory (usually after Grade 10), they are unknowingly closing doors to future career opportunities.

Building Skills for Life

We are determined to succeed in our vision: we want every Canadian youth to benefit from our programs and understand the relevance of STEM in their lives. We work towards having children and youth develop their full potential and realize how STEM is interconnected with so many career choices. STEM skills are also incredibly practical for the kind of problem solving and creative thinking needed in daily life, no matter which career path youth choose.

  • STEM is inclusive: Everyone can be included and engaged in science by linking daily personal experiences to science, regardless of where they live, how they live or what language they speak.
  • Science crosses subjects: Let’s Talk Science supports a multi-disciplinary approach to science engagement and we use big ideas like energy as well as focused concepts like magnetism to show the many connections that can be made across traditional subject areas.
  • Science develops literacy skills: Language and literacy skills are integral to knowing and doing science. Reading, writing and speaking are all essential to comprehending and communicating scientific issues and ideas.
  • Science develops numeracy skills: The skills of sorting and classifying, estimating and counting, measuring, graphing, collecting data and analyzing are frequently used when doing science.
  • Science develops general and technical skills: Conducting science investigations and explorations involves the use of inquiry skills. Science also requires using technical skills, such as doing a titration in chemistry or using a spring scale in physics.
  • Science is powerful: As we think about the future that lies ahead and the global issues that must be resolved such as climate change and global access to food, drinking water and health care it becomes even clearer why STEM is fundamental to life in the 21st Century.

We have a bold vision of a consistent and sustained approach to advocating STEM literacy. Our research uncovers why STEM learning is so important. Learn more about our Spotlight on Science Learning studies.