The ubiquitous and often pervasive expansion of the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) agenda across global education systems has largely gone uncontested. Strategic efforts to build on perceived natural subject synergies across the separate STEM disciplines are promoted as central to supporting the growth of economies through the development of human capital and by ensuring the supply of suitably trained individuals for vocational roles in these areas. However, these efforts are predicated on the assumption that such perceived natural subject synergies can easily support pedagogical complimentary and in so doing, often fail to acknowledge the social histories of the subjects involved. In this paper the authors examine the divergence in treatment of STEM subjects within the Irish second-level context through the lenses of subject hierarchies and social class. The cultural capital associated with studying each of the respective STEM subjects in school is considered and the objectives of the STEM agenda are problematised.