Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education supports children’s capacity to understand and engage fully with the world around them.
Mathematics provides the foundation for science, technology, and engineering and is the study of the relationships, connections, and patterns that surround us. Science, technology, and engineering are intrinsically linked and enable children to benefit from learning about and working with traditional, contemporary, and emerging technologies.
Using an engineering design process, children experience opportunities to generate solutions to real-life problems through playful experimentation and investigation. Scientific inquiry enables children to develop an interest in and understanding of the biological, material, and physical world by exploring and investigating scientific concepts and processes.
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Primary Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education Development Group
NCCA advises the Minister for Education on curriculum and assessment for early childhood education, for primary and post-primary schools. As part of the broader developments in primary it is envisaged that a new specification for STEM education will be finalised in early 2025.
The STEM Education Development Group will have a key role in this work. The Development Group consists of the nominees from a range of education stakeholders including teacher and management bodies and the Department of Education.
For more information on the development processes of NCCA and members of the development groups, visit Boards and Development Groups.
Meeting notes from the Primary STEM Development Group can be accessed below.
In addition to the research already undertaken in this area, research is currently being conducted by Dublin City University on behalf of NCCA to further develop the research base for this curriculum area.
A curriculum consultation event entitled ‘STEM Education and the Primary School Curriculum’ took place in Athlone on 15 November 2022. The event was jointly organised by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) and the Burren College of the Arts. The event was designed using an adaption of the Bringing Education Alive for our Communities On a National Scale (BEACONS) model, developed by the Teaching Council, and was part of a pilot study entitled Pilot Study of a Local School Community Engagement Model for Informing Education Policy Making, supported by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). You can read the report from the event here.