Why Study STEM Subjects at GCSE?

As it turns out, science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education is uniquely suited to prepare students for success in our growing age of technology. 

Consider this - the artificial intelligence market is set to be worth $169.41 Billion in the next five years. An exciting field to specialise in, it can involve anything from solving major problems including statistical modelling to designing an app and to building robots, and could even see you working for Google.

There are many great reasons why you should study Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics. Here are a few good reasons - let them convince you:

  • It can be exhilarating! 
  • Science and Technology are ever-evolving fields, so you will always be learning about or discovering something new. The subject is dynamic and contemporary with excellent job prospects! 
  • STEM subjects are needed in every industry you can imagine and are accompanied by great salaries. 
  • STEM fields require a lot of training and study so professionals often carry a lot of responsibility and they make a difference.
  • It is up to STEM to solve the greatest problems that we face – from the development of green, sustainable energy; to solving climate change, curing diseases, and ensuring the future of the natural world.


 STEM in Everyday Life



From the time we wake up in the morning, until we go to bed at night, we interact with the products of STEM almost every step of the way.

We might be familiar with some of the more obvious applications of STEM such as baking where using measuring cups and calculating various quantities to be added in the recipes, you can learn addition and subtraction or cleaning, where the quantities of different cleaning products that are used to make DIY cleaners uses mathematics.

Love it or hate it shopping is another great way to include STEM in day-to-day life.

We all look at budgeting principles and simple calculations that impact our daily lives.

Here are more examples of how STEM is found in everyday life:

Engineers are behind our built environment and infrastructure we often take for granted, like our roads and water systems. Then there’s the technology behind:

  • Computers at school or work and the smartphone in our pocket
  • Satellites in space connecting us to the World Wide Web and the electricity grid powering it all
  • Mathematical equations and algorithms that inform the weather prediction on the radio in the morning
  • Netflix recommendations on our smart TV in the evening.

Studying STEM

So why study STEM at school?

Here are some good examples of how studying STEM at school can be a great help:


Building and programming robots can be a dynamic and interactive way to teach the basics of coding and engineering. This approach allows students to use and apply the concepts they have learned in a tangible way while enhancing creativity and problem-solving skills.

3D Printing

Integrating 3D printing into subjects such as art, history, science and Design & Technology can help you understand the concepts in a more hands-on and interactive way.

Coding and Programming

Teaching coding languages, such as Python, Javascript, Go, or Java, is a great way to introduce programming and computer science basics, especially in qualifications like the new T Level Digital. These languages have applications in the financial and medical arenas too.

Game Design

Creating and designing video games is a fun and engaging way to teach the basics of game design and logic. Game design is a natural conduit to developing problem-solving skills and logical thinking.

Virtual and Augmented Reality

Using VR and AR to enhance learning experiences can help you to understand and explore concepts in a more immersive and interactive way. Exploring virtual environments for science and history allows students develop a deeper understanding of the subject.


Drone technology is an exciting and interactive way to teach students about the principles of aerodynamics and engineering. You can learn about using drones for environmental monitoring, such as monitoring wildlife, tracking deforestation, and monitoring air and water quality. Drone technology came into its own during the pandemic with the delivery of vaccines to remote areas.

Space Science

Understanding the impact of space exploration on society can help students make informed decisions about the benefits of these technologies in creating a sustainable future.

Nanotechnology and Medical Science

Understanding the properties and applications of nanomaterials can help students understand the basics of nanotechnology and its impact on society in particular the medical field in order to prevent invasive procedures.

Environmental Science

Understanding the impact of human activity on the environment is a crucial skill for students in today’s world in order to protect the planet for future generations.


Understanding engineering principles can help students understand the importance of these skills in their everyday lives and how it impacts societies across the planet particularly to limit the impact of natural disasters.

Green Energy

Understanding the benefits and disadvantages of renewable energy supplements the importance of reducing our carbon footprint. Investigating ways to reduce energy consumption and carbon footprint can help you understand the importance of protecting the planet for future generations.

Types of Careers in STEM

Each of the STEM sectors has different jobs that reperesnet one of the letters in the acronym. They are:


The science field has many branches, including medical science, biology, chemistry, physics, psychology, social sciences and computer science. Examples of specific jobs in the science field include psychologists, doctors, veterinarians, archaeologists, environmental scientists and theoretical physicists. Science jobs may require you to solve real-life problems using research skills, analytical thinking and critical thinking skills.


The technology sector focuses on developing and maintaining new software and hardware systems. You may apply data analysis and scientific reasoning skills to solve various issues using technology. Some types of careers in technology include web developers, software developers, computer systems analysts, computer programmers and computer network architects.


Engineers may solve a wide range of problems using creativity and career-specific technical skills. The field has multiple disciplines which include: chemical, mechanical, electrical, aerospace, environmental and civil. Examples of specific jobs in engineering include chemical engineers, mechanical engineers and electrical engineers.


You may pursue several disciplines in the mathematics field, including economics, calculus, geometry, statistics, probability and algebra. Professionals in these disciplines may analyse data, identify patterns and create models and solutions using the data. You may use maths skills like problem-solving, deduction, reasoning, estimation, measurement or representation.

The Different Types of Engineering Careers

Software Engineer

£24,000 – £50,000 a year (UK average)

Software Engineers work across all tech areas but are particularly in demand in AI. They use many programming languages to design software for artificial intelligence programmes. The nature of this role is also constantly changing, meaning that those in this job never stop learning new skills, experimenting with new systems and advancing in their careers.

Software Engineer is an example of engineering jobs you can do without a degree.

In the past, engineering was divided into chemical, mechanical, civil and electrical engineering. These were then divided into sub-groups. Let’s look at the four main types. Then we’ll cover the greatly expanded range of engineering career options available today…

Chemical Engineering

£29,000 – £60,000 a year (UK average)

Chemical engineering is an engineering field which deals with the study of converting one thing to another through chemical processes. It often includes the operation and design of chemical plants as well as methods of improving production. It’s only been a job for around 125 years and can lead to high-paying jobs from large pharmaceutical companies.

Civil Engineering

£24,000 – £80,000 a year (UK average)

Civil engineers deal in large structures and load-bearing infrastructure - so they are responsible for making all of the jaw dropping new skyscrapers and bridges you’ve seen possible. They are held to strict codes of conduct and safety restrictions and so generally need a lot of training even after a bachelors degree to be successful. You can also start at apprenticeship level and work your way up.

Electrical Engineering

£20,000 – £60,000 a year (UK average)

As an electrical engineer, dreaming up and making all kinds of electrical equipment is what you do. You don’t need a degree to get into electrical engineering, either. You can start out as an electrical engineering technician then train to become a fully qualified engineer when you’re ready. This will affect your starting salary however.

Mechanical Engineering

£22,000 – £55,000 a year (UK average)

Mechanical engineers have the very special skill of designing machinery and mini-machinery bits (components, in other words). You’ll find machinery everywhere these days, so mechanical engineers are needed in almost any industry you can think of, from energy to healthcare.


Benefits of STEM

STEM education is important as it offers several benefits to students, from developing programs that allow for deeper learning to teaching them critical skills they can use to succeed in life.

Shows Real-World Applications

The nature of STEM programs includes applying real-world scenarios to bring students out of the classroom and make learning contemporary.

Incorporates Hands-On Learning

While many subjects rely on lecture-based lessons, STEM can provide a break in that learning style and provide hands-on activities.

Promotes Equality in Education

STEM is an excellent subject for promoting equality in the classroom since all students have equal opportunities to excel in the content.

Develops Critical Thinking

STEM encourages students to think critically as they work to solve problems. While other disciplines might give students problems with only one correct answer, STEM activities require students to go through trial and error to determine what methods work best.

Critical thinking is an essential skill that students can apply to their futures. Many employers value soft skills over hard skills because soft skills are more challenging to teach.

Fosters Creativity

Alongside natural critical thinking, STEM activities and lessons naturally encourage students to think creatively and try unique solutions.

Today, creativity is ranked among the top skills businesses look for in the hiring process. Employers want employees who can offer creative solutions when facing a challenge where standard procedures and processes fail to provide help.

Encourages Independent Exploration of Subject Matter

While much of STEM takes place in the classroom under the guidance of teachers, many students can take STEM subjects out of lessons and continue to explore what interests them independently.

STEM especially encourages independent exploration. Students can apply what they’ve learned to their personal lives through play.

Teaches Collaboration

Teamwork and collaboration are other essential skills that kids can naturally learn from participating in STEM activities. Like many other soft skills that STEM teaches, collaboration and communication are essential in the workspace. 

Many work environments rely on employees solving problems and completing projects in teams. Employers want someone who can work well with other people and express their ideas and concerns effectively.

Builds Resilience

Because STEM is a naturally exploratory field, students can try many different options when solving problems, allowing them to build their creativity and problem-solving skills. 

However, when their initial solution doesn’t give them the result they want, they have the chance to keep trying. STEM teaches kids that it is okay to try again and that the best ideas might not come on the first try.

They can apply this skill to many other situations, including the workplace, making them valuable employees and great team members.

Have a go at some GCSE Maths and Science questions to see if you are ready for the big step up! Click here to download our worksheet.

Contact me (Sunnil) through the link below to see how you did!

Author's profile picture

Sunnil S


Previous Exam board Maths Advisor. A Level, GCSE, KS3 -25 years exp.

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