Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) come together to form a field of study that is versatile and applicable to everyday life — as well as industries of all kinds. On a larger scale, governments should be inclusive of STEM experts and perspectives. This will lead to a universally beneficial approach to all sorts of affairs.
You may have only heard about STEM in the respective fields that make up the acronym itself. Science, tech and engineering, especially, have major impacts on societies. Think of big tech companies like Apple and Google, and then think about how they’ve affected the United States as a whole. STEM professionals are how these industries flourish.
STEM in Local Governments
STEM in government should begin locally on relatively smaller scales. It will likely be easier for professionals to find work as consultants or government employees. STEM covers a vast array of jobs, and governing bodies need that expertise.
For instance, STEM experts work in public health, civil engineering, architecture and teaching. On a local level, these jobs keep the government — and the public — happy and healthy.
Civil engineers work on public structures like bridges and airports. Public health experts measure things like air pollution and the impacts of diseases, making sure to keep residents safe. Teachers, of course, keep the education system going.
Without these STEM jobs in place, the government would lose resources, and people would be at risk. These professionals work to keep everything in place.
STEM in National Governments
STEM is still critical when you zoom out on a larger scale. National governments must work with STEM experts to meet the public’s needs.
You’ll notice that the same professions needed on a local level still apply countrywide. For instance, civil engineers help the government establish more efficient public transportation. Railways that run across the U.S. are possible thanks to STEM experts.
In terms of public health, scientists and mathematicians work together to find the exact numbers of how pollution affects urban areas. They can measure things like carbon emissions and compare them to health care data. They then provide solutions to decrease that pollution by working with energy experts — another branch of STEM.
Governments need STEM experts for anything and everything — from environmental plans to national security regulations to ideas for economic growth. Overall, however, it creates better transparency between the government and the public. Individuals get to see exactly how policymakers enact plans to help the nation.
If you take it to an international level, you’ll find that more positions require STEM expertise or consultations to operate.
A relevant example of how STEM applies is through the current pandemic. COVID-19 has affected countless countries around the world and will continue until a vaccine gets it under control. That vaccine requires STEM experts for development, researching and testing. Epidemiology is a branch of STEM that focuses on all things illness-related during this time.
STEM experts working together internationally will bring about a faster response and cure for the coronavirus. For example, NASA uses STEM experts for research now more than ever. The agency released pollution data at the beginning of U.S. quarantines that showed how the pandemic affected air quality. This information would not be possible without STEM.
Plus, NASA wouldn’t have gone to the moon without STEM. These fields show how valuable science and technology are for all walks of life. A sustainable government cannot exist without STEM.
The Unity of STEM
On any level, STEM has the power to bring the public closer to the government. Individual and community needs often relate to the fields of STEM — like public health, economic resources and accessibility. Integrating STEM at all levels of government is critical for a prospering nation.