STEM is Plumbing

STEM is Plumbing

by Explore the Trades | June 12, 2024 | Essential Industry Plumbing STEM | 0 Comments

Science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) are the essential building blocks of careers that cross industries and impact our daily lives in different ways. STEM is the foundation of technical careers that advances the next generation of a skilled workforce. STEM is the skilled trades of plumbing, heating, and cooling (HVAC) and electrical.

STEM education, along with career and technical education (CTE), are complementary and provide the framework to building the next generation of a skilled workforce.


While ancient civilizations were credited with developing the first plumbing system thousands of years ago, it took scientists hundreds of years to discover that bacteria in unfiltered water was one of the biggest threats to public health. Through this discovery, plumbers became the first line of defense to protect the health and wellbeing of society.

Clean water in, dirty water out. Using the laws of gravity and pressure, plumbers ensure plumbing systems carry water through a building efficiently and safely.

As science changes, so does the equipment used in plumbing systems. Plastic water lines, for example, are becoming more widely used in plumbing because the material outperforms materials like steel and copper that have been used for nearly a century.

interconnected wires and pipes

Using smart home technology, plumbers install devices on toilets and water heaters that monitor and report water usage. Plumbers no longer just work with wrenches and pipes – they have added smart devices as essential tools that benefit water conservation and the environment. Plumbers receive hands-on training not only in their apprenticeship, but also as they learn how to work with new technology.


Engineering has helped the plumbing trade evolve. Hot water used to be produced with simple devices that used electricity or natural gas to heat tanks of water for cleaning and bathing. Today’s tankless technology maximizes resources to produce hot water by the most cost-effective and fuel-efficient means.


Plumbers use algebra and geometry while reading blueprints and creating schematics.  From computing fixture units for drain and waste line sizing, to calculating fresh air for combustion in each space, and using physics to determine water pressure, math plays a pivotal role in all aspects of the trades.

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