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STEM Education Redefined

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

College Industry Partnerships Division Technical Session 3

Tagged Division

College Industry Partnerships

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Paper Authors


David Dylan John Georgia Southern University Orcid 16x16

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A Masters of Science in Applied Engineering with an emphasis in Construction Management candidate at Georgia Southern University, Dylan John is an active student leader within multiple student organizations and serves the institution of 20,000+ students as Student Government President for the 2016/17 academic year. His research interests include Building Information Modelling (BIM), Sustainable Construction, Productivity & Efficiency in the Construction Industry and Construction Education. He is mentored by Dr.Yunfeng (Cindy) Chen of the Department of Civil Engineering and Construction Management at Georgia Southern University

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Yunfeng Chen Georgia Southern University

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Dr. Yunfeng Chen is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering and Construction Management at Georgia Southern University with research focus on construction technology application, process management, and education.

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Current Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education focuses predominantly on technically specialized knowledge and skills. STEM in this study is redefined as soft skills, technical skills, experience and managerial skills (Redefined STEM). Even though technical background is important, companies have expressed explicitly that they lean towards those graduates who are well rounded with soft and managerial skills. Both practitioners and academicians recognize and claim the importance of those non-technical skills. However, there is no consensus about those skills. In addition, many studies are limited in their theoretical justification. More significantly, limited empirical evidence is provided. This study is conducted to fill the above gaps to explore and identify the most important skills, for the success of STEM graduates through a qualitative methodology. Students and industry practitioners from a variety of STEM disciplines are sourced for structured interviews with the researchers. Based on the data collection through these interviews, qualitative analysis of data is conducted. Following a review of previous literature and comparison with the interview data, a pool of skills for determining success of STEM graduates is generated. The skills are identified and grouped under the redefined STEM of soft skills, technical skills, experience and managerial skills. This study has both theoretical and practical contributions. Theoretically, this study provides practitioners and academicians new insights and empirical evidence to the importance of non-technical skills for the success of STEM graduates. Practically, institutions can incorporate the Redefined STEM into their curriculum and emphasize on skills that contribute to their professional success.

John, D. D., & Chen, Y. (2017, June), STEM Education Redefined Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28843

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