Two middle school students stand at a classroom worktable collaborating in front of a laptop they are using to program a connected Arduino device.

Technology in STEM Education

With a technology-infused STEM curriculum and access to powerful devices, students can develop the skill sets and mindsets needed to excel in school and in the future workplace.

STEM Education Takeaways:

  • STEM education is not a new concept, but it’s being taught differently today. Educators are no longer focusing only on technical outcomes, but on the skills and mindsets students can learn through STEM activities.

  • When school systems invest in technology, they also invest in the next generation of innovators, preparing students for the jobs of the future.

  • Intel provides a variety of STEM resources, programs, and opportunities to help educators and academic leaders create impactful STEM learning environments.



What Is STEM Education?

Since the 1990s, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education—also known as STEAM with the addition of the arts—has become an essential building block for student success. STEM education has been shown to provide a variety of educational benefits, such as improving critical thinking, student engagement, problem solving, and collaboration. STEM education can also help students thrive in the future workforce as they apply what they’ve learned in the real world.

While STEM education isn’t a new concept, schools are changing how they incorporate it into their digital strategies and curricula. Because students are already surrounded by technology every day, educators are focused on integrating STEM principles into a wide range of hands-on, engaging student activities to maximize learning outcomes.

Developing Innovative Skill Sets and Mindsets Through STEM

A technology-supported, skills-based curriculum helps students develop analytical skill sets and mindsets that prepare them to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing world and take on the jobs of the future.

  • Skill sets refer to how students carry out tasks to solve specific problems. Simulation, data science, and programming are all examples of STEM skill sets.
  • Mindsets refer to the unique lens through which students navigate the world and approach problems. Social-emotional competencies, design thinking, and computational thinking are common mindsets.

Students can develop valuable skill sets and mindsets through STEM programming. For example, suppose students are tasked with measuring the impact of wind and soil erosion on farmlands. In that case, they might use a design thinking mindset to decide how to identify correlations between weather and land characteristics, then use data science and simulation skills to complete their evaluation.

The Importance of STEM Education for the Future Workforce

In the past, STEM education aimed to prepare students for scientific and technical jobs. Today, as we work and live during the Fourth Industrial Revolution which converges physical and digital systems and increases human-machine interaction—STEM education not only prepares students for jobs in tech, but in virtually every industry.
With the rise of generative AI solutions, marketing, design, development, and customer service jobs are rapidly evolving to integrate AI tools. Huge volumes of data are generated every year across industries through the use of connected, AI-enabled, Internet of Things (IoT) devices, creating a growing need for dedicated data analysts and data scientists and strong analytic skills within traditional job functions. The growth of the video gaming industry is creating even more demand for programmers, 3D artists, and visual effects producers who can blend technical skills with creative storytelling.

STEM education is more critical than ever as students prepare to enter the workforce, no matter what career path they choose to pursue.

Engaging Underrepresented Groups in STEM

A strong foundation in STEM can empower young people with the skills and confidence they need to change the world. Advancing gender and racial equity in STEM is essential to unlocking human potential and innovation in every community.
Intel supports a wide range of different programs and organizations that provide opportunities for youth from underserved communities to engage with STEM programming, uncover their potential, access additional structure and support for STEM learning, and connect with STEM mentors and role models from similar backgrounds.

Digital Strategies for STEM Education

Successful STEM education programs start with thoughtful digital strategies. As academic leaders partner with educators and IT administrators to develop and refine their digital strategies, it is important to consider the following questions:

  • Which educational goals can be achieved through required curricula versus extracurricular programs?
  • What professional development investments may be needed to equip educators with skills and strategies to incorporate STEM into their classrooms?
  • What technology investments are required to support STEM education goals today and in the future?
  • How can technology be integrated into student activities to build STEM skills that help students prepare for a rapidly changing workforce?

Developing a Technology-Supported, Skills-Based Curriculum

We believe that young people are the key to solving global challenges and that a solid STEM foundation will help fuel their success. In addition to a comprehensive portfolio of edtech solutions, we provide a wide range of primary and secondary educational resources to support educators and inspire students.

Intel® Skills for Innovation

The Intel® Skills for Innovation (SFI) program provides academic leaders and educators with a planning framework, over 60 hours of professional development resources, and future-ready lesson plans and activities for maximizing learning outcomes with a technology-supported, skills-based curriculum. Additionally, educators using the Intel® SFI framework can gain access to a program-specific collaborative community.

Intel® AI for Youth

The next generation of innovators will need the right skills and resources to understand what AI is, how it is designed, and why it is important in today’s digital world. The Intel® AI for Youth Program, one of several Intel® Digital Readiness Programs, includes over 200 hours of engaging and hands-on teaching and learning content to help students gain a deep understanding of AI and learn skill sets and mindsets they can use to responsibly design meaningful AI solutions.

Esports in Education

Esports (or electronic sports) as an extracurricular activity is rapidly growing in primary and secondary education as a path for building STEAM and social-emotional skills while increasing student engagement and opportunities for student inclusion. Whether preparing for competitive events, actively gaming, or supporting other game day activities, students can gain strategic, analytical, and problem-solving skills, be introduced to new roles or future career choices, and develop teamwork, communication, and leadership skills. School-sponsored esports leagues can also foster positive student interactions and friendships and create a sense of belonging. For academic leaders and educators looking to build STEM skills through engaging extracurricular activities, learn more about the steps to get started in our white paper on esports in education.

Choosing Technology for STEM Education

With a technology-infused, skill-based curriculum, the technology needed for teaching and learning is the same technology needed for STEM education.

Selecting durable, high-performance devices aligned with student ages, activities, and learning environment needs can help educators and students stay productive and engaged. Faster, more responsive technology saves students and teachers time and can support more immersive and collaborative learning experiences.

For example, an evaluation of Intel-based devices used for Intel® SFI activities demonstrated that students with these devices save time on tasks across applications such as CoSpaces Edu, Blender, Tinkercad, and more.

Additionally, choosing devices that can grow with students over time and aligning selections with school digital strategies will not only maximize the benefits to students but can also help IT administrators avoid unnecessary device refreshes.
When selecting devices to support primary and secondary students and educators in blended learning environments, consider the following factors:

  • Learning environment needs
  • Student age
  • Required software applications
  • Computing performance
  • Audio, video, and graphics performance
  • Connectivity and manageability
  • Security and privacy controls
  • Longevity based on future technology needs
  • Sustainability goals and requirements

Explore More Intel Resources for STEM Education

Technology plays a crucial role in education and STEM learning and in helping students develop lifelong skills that they can apply to any future job they want to pursue. Planning for and investing in PCs, laptops, and other technological devices that support the range of needs of a new skills-based, active-learning curriculum is critical for a successful teaching and learning environment. Explore our educational and edtech planning resources to learn more and find solutions for your school system’s needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

The original purpose of STEM education was to increase participation in science- and technology-related fields. By integrating STEM into lessons regardless of subject matter, educators can teach analytical skill sets and mindsets that prepare students for the future workplace—no matter which profession they choose to pursue.

STEM isn’t only focused on teaching hard skills in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—it’s about helping students learn how to apply their knowledge and skills to solve problems, connect lessons to the real world, and collaborate effectively with others. For example, a math-oriented STEM education activity could involve designing a computer program to solve a complex mathematical problem, while a history-oriented STEM project could involve using natural language processing to determine whether different research sources are accurate and reputable.

While STEM education isn’t a new concept, schools are changing how they teach it. As students are already surrounded by technology every day, the focus now is on incorporating cross-curricular STEM concepts to improve learning outcomes. A technology-supported, skills-based curriculum helps students develop skill sets and mindsets that equip them to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing world and take on the jobs of the future.