NYC STEM Education Framework

STEM is an acronym for the integration of the four disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. In practice, STEM education involves both formal (classroom) and informal (after school) instruction across all grade levels (Pre-K–12). STEM education prioritizes the study of science and mathematics, plus the meaningful integration of technology and engineering design that offers opportunities for innovative problem solving while making science and mathematics relevant and engaging. STEM education includes a variety of course options that integrate curriculum across content areas such as computer science, robotics, sustainability, environmental studies, marine science, urban transportation, financial literacy, urban gardening and farming, communication, green construction, facility maintenance, and health and wellness, to name a few.Many advocates of STEM also incorporate the arts (as in STEAM), in addition to history and literacy. ¹

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The Green STEM Initiative
Connecting students’ curiosity about the natural world with innovation in STEM

Green STEMThe need for workers with STEM skills is heightened in today’s global economy. Technological innovation improves the competitive position of U.S. industries, drives growth, and supports high quality jobs.Additionally, demand for STEM-capable workers has increased even in traditionally non-STEM fields due to the diffusion of technology across industries and occupations. Technological progress can improve workers’ quality of life by improving working conditions and increasing wages. However, for workers to benefit from the economic gains generated by innovation they must have the knowledge and skills needed to work effectively in jobs requiring STEM competencies. Improving access to quality STEM education will strengthen the caliber of the U.S. workforce, drive economic growth, and keep the U.S. competitive. ²

National Park Service

Hands-on science education and informal, out-of-school experiences are considered key to helping students understand the connections between actions and impact on the environment or society. “In creating schools that are optimized for academic learning, we’ve created environments that interfere with learning about the natural world,” Daniel Edelson, vice president for education at the National Geographic and a member of the advisory council that helped devise the education framework for NatureBridge, a residential field-science program on California’s Marin Headlands in partnership with NPS. “We need to create opportunities for students to learn about the environment through firsthand experiences. This means getting them out of school buildings in order to observe and experience the natural world.” ³


  1. An Introduction to the NYC STEM Education Framework; NYC Department of Education;
2. United States. U.S. Congress. Joint Economic Committee. STEM Education: Preparing for the Jobs of the Future. Ed. Bob Casey.U.S Congress, Apr. 2012. Web. 02 May 2013. .
3. National Park Service Ups STEM