E-mail and search functions

I-STEM Education Initiative

Return to I-STEM home page

Main Navigation

For those using screen readers: Disregard the following Javascript. It contains no content.

About Us

Our vision for Illinois as a land-grant institution is to foster accessible, effective STEM teaching and learning—from preschool through graduate education—at local, state, and national levels, thereby preparing a highly able citizenry and diverse STEM workforce to tackle pressing global challenges.

As we become more reliant on advances in science, technology, and engineering to meet challenges in national defense, climate change, health, energy, economic growth, safe and accessible food, and environmental protection, the demand for highly able scientists, engineers, and health professionals reaches unprecedented levels.
National Academy of Sciences, 2008


A local visitor to Ciencias! plays with slime at the States of Matter station.

Why a Campus Focus on STEM Education?

Our world increasingly relies on science and technology to solve some of today’s most intractable problems. As noted in the 2007 National Academy of Sciences report, Rising Above the Gathering Storm, U.S. student interest and performance in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields is in decline. Perhaps at no time in our nation’s history has a strong, comprehensive system of education been so essential. As challenges mount in such areas as national defense, climate change, health, energy, economic growth, food safety and accessibility, and environmental protection, so does the demand for highly able scientists, engineers, and health professionals. As the flagship campus of one of the nation’s premier land-grant research universities, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is committed to playing an active role in the improvement of STEM education at all levels.

What is STEM?

The acronym STEM refers to four broad fields: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. This can include teaching, learning, conducting research, or working in one, or a combination, of these areas.

What is I-STEM?

The I-STEM Education Initiative (I-STEM)—a campus coalition grounded in Education and led by the Office of the Provost—involves Liberal Arts & Sciences, Education, Engineering, Agriculture, Veterinary Medicine, Applied Health Sciences, Medicine, Library and Information Sciences, Social Work, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, the Institute for Genomic Biology, and other units. I-STEM collaborates with Illinois campus units and external organizations locally and around the world to meet four goals:

  • Facilitate P–16 STEM Education Outreach.
  • Improve STEM Teacher Training and Professional Development Quality.
  • Foster Undergraduate and Graduate STEM Education Reform.
  • Shape Policy and Advocate for STEM Education.

I-STEM works with internal and external partners to evaluate STEM education programs, provide news coverage of STEM initiatives and events, to facilitate the development of education and outreach programs, and to help develop policies in Illinois and nationally that promote STEM education.

I-STEM Annual Reports

I-STEM Magazine

I-STEM Mission and Goals Handout