Supporting the T and the E in STEM: 2004-2010

Matthew Harrison
2011, Vol. 16, No. 1,


Engineering, the ‘E’ in STEM, is seldom taught as a distinct curriculum subject in English and Welsh schools to pupils under the age of 14 years. This contrasts with design and technology (D&T), taken in this paper to represent the largest contributor to the ‘T’ in STEM (the remainder being taken to be the computing and digital communications
aspects of ICT), which is currently taught to all pupils up to the age of 14 and remains a very popular option thereafter.

The UK Government STEM programme (with sister projects: the LSIS 16+ STEM programme, the London Engineering Project and the 14-19 Diploma in Engineering) has provided large-scale action-research opportunities to better understand the nature of the T and E in STEM.

This paper describes how the T and E in STEM have been found to be subjects in their own right and also to provide practical context for other STEM subjects. Some effectivepractice guidelines have been established as a result, and these are discussed, but the paper concludes there is still much to do to fully establish the identity and character of the T and the E in STEM. Ideas for how this might develop
are offered.


STEM; engineering; vocational education; CPD

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