Scherer, H. H., McKim, A. J., Wang, H., DiBenedetto, C. A., & Robinson, K. (2019). Making Sense of the Buzz: A Systematic Review of “STEM” in Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources Education Literature. Journal of Agricultural Education, 60(2), 28-53. doi: 10.5032/jae.2019.02028
The world demands individuals with knowledge and skills in agriculture, food, and natural resources (AFNR) paired with proficiency in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) concepts. Current models for STEM education call for interdisciplinary approaches in which learners address real-world challenges, indicating high potential for collaboration with researchers and practitioners in AFNR. The purpose of this study was to articulate the state of the 2010-2017 literature for STEM in AFNR education to inform future research, innovations in practice, and interdisciplinary collaborations. Using a systematic review approach and qualitative analysis techniques, 52 peer-reviewed STEM in AFNR education articles were analyzed for general characteristics, instructional approaches, STEM subjects, relationship between STEM subjects, relationship between STEM and AFNR, justifications, foci, and operationalization of STEM in research. Within each category, we identified themes that resulted in a summary of STEM in AFNR education in which future research and practice could align. Results indicated STEM in AFNR serves a range of populations, science and math are well represented, engineering is poorly represented, and mechanisms through which STEM learning occurs are often inadequately described. We recommend a collaborative and interdisciplinary future for STEM and AFNR education because both communities are pursuing common aims.