STEM is an acronym referring to the academic disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The term is typically used when addressing education policy and curriculum choices in schools to improve competitiveness in technology development. It has implications for workforce development, national security concerns and immigration policy. The acronym arose in common use shortly after an interagency meeting on science education held at the National Science Foundation chaired by the then NSF director Rita Colwell. A director from the Office of Science division of Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists suggested the change from the older acronym SMET...to STEM. Dr. Colwell, expressing some dislike for the older acronym, responded by suggesting NSF to institute the change.