An Overview of the STEM Strand and Curriculum

Tuesday, December 6, 2022
An Overview of the STEM Strand and Curriculum

The Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) strand is one of the four strands available for senior high school in the Philippines. It is offered by Reedley International School as part of its SHS program. Students are free to choose their SHS track in the Philippines. Some may already choose something to prepare them for their college degree and future employment. Other students use SHS as an avenue to explore different subject matters and broaden their knowledge. To help students decide among the four strands, this article aims to provide an overview of the STEM strand and curriculum. 


What is STEM? 

The STEM strand in SHS is an inquiry and research-based program. It exposes students to more complex mathematics and science concepts and aims to serve as a foundation for their future college degrees. 

Through various projects and research entailed, students develop problem-solving skills where they can apply scientific, technological, mathematical, and engineering concepts. 


Advantages of Taking STEM in SHS in the Philippines

The STEM strand encompasses many subject matters compared with other SHS strands. Because of this, the students are presented with many concepts and ideas that they can apply to their daily life as well as in their future studies. 


Problem-solving abilities

Many lessons in the STEM strand are hands-on. Here, teachers provide their students with a logical approach to solving various problems. Students are required to follow the proper scientific method in hypothesizing, experimenting, analyzing, and drawing conclusions. 

This approach to learning ignites students’ curiosity to experiment and come up with unique analyses and solutions.


Communication & collaboration

With an inquiry-based learning program, students are given various opportunities to work with their peers. This allows them to work on how they communicate with each other through active listening. They also learn how to become patient and empathetic with their peers. 

Aside from this, they are also able to work on their formal presentations. A different part of communication is tapped here. With many experiments and projects, students are also able to work on public speaking.


Confidence to adapt to change

Lessons in the STEM curriculum help students adapt to change. They learn how to deal with various setbacks while providing their peers with solutions on how to solve these.

Many lessons require trial-and-error approaches. The constant exposure to these provides them with the grit and confidence to persevere through difficult projects and classes. They learn how to tackle these obstacles and build their resilience and flexibility. 


Major Classes in the STEM Curriculum

The STEM strand consists of four semesters. The classes of STEM strand SHS students are divided into core, contextualized, and specialized subjects. It’s in their second year when their subjects become more specialized in their track. 


Core Subjects

  • English & Communication (Oral, Reading, & Writing
  • Filipino
  • Mathematics
  • Statistics & Probability 
  • Philosophy
  • Physical Education & Health


Contextualized Subjects

  • Empowerment Technologies 
  • Research
  • English for Academic and Professional Purposes 
  • Entrepreneurship 


Specialized Subjects

  • Pre & Basic Calculus
  • General Chemistry
  • General Physics 


Potential College Course for STEM Graduates

With the STEM strand being divided into four major subjects, there are many potential college courses available for its graduates. A student may find it easier to decide on a course based on their preferences and strengths. 



STEM graduates interested in pursuing a medical degree can venture into the following degrees. Their classes in the program would have exposed them to general physics, biology, and chemistry, providing them with a solid foundation for many of their major subjects. 

  • BS Nursing
  • BS Medical Technology
  • BS Pharmacy
  • BS Chemistry


Information Technology

Basic coding classes in SHS prepare students to take on courses related to information technology. They can continue and expand their knowledge as they pursue these courses. 

  • BS Entertainment and Media Computing
  • BS Information Science
  • BS Data Science
  • BS Information Technology



The specialized and contextualized subjects provide students with a foundation for many engineering courses. Here, they’ll be able to learn about different structures and systems to improve the lives of those around them. 

  • BS Materials Engineering
  • BS Electronics and Communications Engineering
  • BS Chemical Engineering
  • BS Mechanical Engineering



Those who have a natural inclination for Mathematics can take their studies further by pursuing it in college. From algebra to logic, they’ll learn everything they need to know about arithmetic and computations. 

  • BS Applied Mathematics
  • BS Mathematics
  • BS Statistics
  • BS Secondary Education (major in Mathematics)


Key Takeaway

The STEM strand opens doors to many possible courses for SHS students in the Philippines. Here, they learn foundations for many degrees such as Engineering, Information Technology, and Medical Sciences. With their lessons and projects, students can improve the problem-solving skills they need for future studies. Now that we’ve provided an overview of the STEM strand and curriculum, you might be interested in taking it up. 

If you choose to enroll in the STEM strand, contact us here in Reedley, one of the top international schools in Manila. Our SHS program aims to provide our students with a nurturing and holistic environment for them to hone their strengths and talents. 


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