Lesson Introduction

Overview of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Career Cluster

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Career Cluster logo
The Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Career Cluster encompasses a broad range of occupations and industries that may overlap with careers in other clusters. For occupations found in the STEM cluster, the boundaries of current knowledge are constantly expanding and merging.

Engineers work in the fields of biotechnology, chemistry, robotics, electronics, manufacturing, and construction, as well as many other fields. Scientists explore everything from agricultural biology to petrochemical reactions and advanced materials.

Career Pathways

Instructional content for the STEM cluster is organized into five career pathways:

  • Engineering
  • Biotechnology
  • Electronics
  • Robotics and Automation
  • Scientific Research

Teacher Resources


To help students learn more about STEM careers, download and distribute the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics College and Career Planning Guide.

WBL Experiences

The Practicum in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) is a capstone experience for the STEM cluster. The practicum may include a paid or unpaid work-based learning (WBL) experience, and may take place in a variety of locations.

Be sure to review the related Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) before you create the outline of training. TEKS can also be drawn from related STEM courses as well as relevant courses from other clusters. In some cases, you will need to work with a student's training sponsor to develop TEKS specific to the WBL experience.

If you haven't already done so, take a moment to bookmark the TEKS for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.

Course Prerequisites

The Practicum in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics is recommended for students in grade 12 who are participating in a coherent sequence of courses in the STEM cluster. There are no mandatory prerequisites for this course.

Legal and Safety Considerations

Always discuss safety and legal considerations with each training sponsor. For students participating in this practicum, legal and safety considerations will depend on the industry and work location.
Typically, the responsibilities are organized as follows:
  • Teacher-coordinators are responsible for providing general safety instruction and for ensuring that all training takes place.
  • Training sponsors normally provide job-specific safety training.

Pre-Employment Requirements

The most common pre-employment requirements are

  • age restrictions;
  • background checks;
  • drug testing; and
  • nondisclosure agreements.

Read the examples in the spotlights below.

Curriculum Resources

To promote educational excellence in career and technical education, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) launched the Texas CTE Resource Center.






Take a moment to bookmark the Texas CTE Resource Center website. Later, be sure to explore curriculum guidelines and instructional resources for the AFNR Career Cluster.


Career and technical student organizations (CTSOs) provide students with additional opportunities to acquire and demonstrate skills and abilities related to their chosen career field. There are several STEM-related CTSOs. Become familiar with them so you can help students select the organization that best supports their career goals.




Take a few moments to bookmark the CTSO websites below to explore later. 

Texas Technology Students Association (TSA)
SkillsUSA Texas
Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA)
Business Professionals of America (BPA)
Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA)

Professional Associations

Get involved in at least one career and technical education (CTE) professional association. They are excellent sources of cluster-specific teaching tools, ideas, networking, and mentors.

There are several professional association related to STEM careers, including those listed below. You may also want to check with your colleagues for advice.




Take a few moments to bookmark the CTE professional association websites below to explore later.

Texas Technology and Engineering Educators (TTEE)
Texas Industrial Vocational Association (TIVA)
Texas Business and Technology Educators Association (TBTEA)
Texas Health Occupations Association

Lesson Conclusion