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photo of Jeffco students that won a top 3 category award at 2020 Denver Metro Regional Science and Engineering FairElementary student working on electronics project in STEM LabMiddle School Students engaging in experiments at FDAElementary students collaborating in STEM LabElementary student presenting cardboard wind turbine prototypeHigh School students presenting NASA HUNCH innovation

What is STEM Education?

STEM education in Jeffco emphasizes an interdisciplinary, innovative, and authentic approach to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. In addition to essential skills such as communication and collaboration, our STEM programs also emphasize transferable STEM specific skills that students are able to apply across STEM aligned disciplines.  These STEM skills include: Asking Questions and Defining Problems, Creating and Using Models, Planning and Carrying out Investigations or Valid Tests, Analyzing and Interpreting Data, Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking, Constructing Explanations / Designing Solutions, and Engaging in Argument from Evidence. 

Our STEM programs embrace a student driven, inquiry embedded instructional approach, utilizing educational models such as Project/Problem Based Learning and Design Thinking.  Some of our Jeffco Schools partner with organizations to support STEM learning, including but not limited to:  Creative Learning Systems, Expeditionary Learning, New Technology Network, PBL Works, and Project Lead the Way.

Secondary STEM programs throughout Jeffco are a part of our robust Career and Technical Education pathways.  Please see our CTE site for more information.

Why STEM Education?

Students will need STEM related knowledge and skills to be our future global leaders and ensure the security and progress of society.  The creation of STEM pathways promotes equity and efficacy for all students.  Our students have the potential to solve  the world's greatest and most complex problems and STEM education will allow them to develop the necessary skills to turn those ideas into reality.

According to the 3/2017 update from the US Dept of Commerce's Economics and Statistics Administration:

  • In 2015, there were 9.0 million STEM workers in the United States. About 6.1 percent of all workers are in STEM occupations, up from 5.5 percent just five years earlier.
  • STEM occupations are projected to grow by 8.9 percent from 2014 to 2024, compared to 6.4 percent growth for non- STEM occupations.
  • STEM workers earned 29 percent more than their non-STEM counterparts in 2015. 
  • STEM degree holders enjoy higher earnings, regardless of whether they work in STEM or non- STEM occupations. A STEM degree holder can expect an earnings premium of 12 percent over non-STEM degree holders, holding all other factors constant.

For more information about how individual schools across Jeffco provide STEM opportunities, please visit the Jeffco School Finder.


Heather Waldron
STEM Pathway Designer
Marna Messer
Director of Choice Programming

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