If you're not familiar with STEM - it stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. It's an educational focus and more important now than ever before.
ABC 15 has teamed up with Horry Georgetown Technical College to explore STEM in our community. Our Crystal Costa found out the curriculum is about much more than the acronym.
Former student Danel Mayan is back at Horry Georgetown Technical College, but this time he's leading the class. "It's crazy, it's weird being on the other side of things," he said.
As he enrolls in medical school, he's also teaching STEM classes. "STEM is a teaching curriculum based off four principles - Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics," Mayan explained.
You'll find this curriculum in every school in every district. It starts at the elementary level. "You're going to have a lot more basic lab assignments. You could be dissecting a potato, things like that. As opposed to once you get up to middle school, students are dissecting a sheep's eye," Mayan said.
At the college level, these classes prepare interested students for STEM-related professions. Qualified workers in those fields are in high demand.
"Today my students are learning about enzymes and now they're running enzymatic reactions, so you have hands-on activities to actually cement the knowledge you just learned," Mayan explained.
Mayan believes STEM benefits students in many ways. "You're actually getting a lot of different skills. You end up getting skills in analytical thinking, critical analysis and reading skills, problem solving and the ability to work independently."
As Mayan works to enter the medical field with dreams of being a surgeon, he credits his time at HGTC and the Academy For Arts, Science and Technology in Horry County for preparing him for his career. "These skills you get from actually learning in a STEM environment are astronomical. They are going to help you throughout the rest of your life."
We'll continue featuring STEM stories in our newscasts.
If you have a STEM idea, email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org