STEM has been a buzzword in the education world for several years. STEM is an acronym for science, technology, engineering and math. Traditional education taught science and math through classes like biology, chemistry, algebra, and calculus. However with greater development and advances in technology and engineering industries, students also need education in fields such as computers and robotics. STEM pushes students to learn the technical skills needed in a progressively competitive and evolving world.
Recently there has been momentum to broaden STEM to STEAM.
Science. Technology. Engineering. Arts. Math.
The inclusion of the arts evolves STEM to STEAM by integrating visual arts, performing arts and the humanities with science, technology, engineering and math. The arts are a platform for expression and creativity. The arts teach learners how to identify and process through emotions; skills that are crucial for healthy social emotional development. In drama learners put themselves in characters’ perspectives. In poetry learners articulate personal experiences and emotions. In visual arts learners create something visual or tangible from intangible ideas.This leads to the development of a skill vital for meaningful innovation: empathy.
To develop a complete mind: Study the science of art; Study the art of science. Learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.Leonardo da Vinci
STEAM education is centered on integrating two or more of its subjects through project-based learning. Traditional learning techniques have proven inadequate to foster a sufficiently adequate learning environment for most learners. With STEAM comes an emphasis on project-based learning that enables learners to express their ideas and creativity while mastering important concepts and skills. Creativity is a requirement in STEAM fields in order to push the bounds of what we know and what we can do. Additionally, STEAM concepts and skills are necessary to succeed in a modern world regardless of the learner’s intended career path.
STEAM & ESSA
STEAM is so critical in education that it became law. In 2015, The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was signed by President Obama. ESSA states that students need a “well-rounded education”. ESSA Title IV, Part A Statute elaborates the on the term “well-rounded education” as follows:
The term ‘‘well-rounded education’’ means courses, activities, and programming in subjects such as English, reading or language arts, writing, science, technology, engineering, mathematics, foreign languages, civics and government, economics, arts, history, geography, computer science, music, career and technical education, health, physical education, and any other subject, as determined by the State or local educational agency, with the purpose of providing all students access to an enriched curriculum and educational experience.(The Every Student Succeeds Act)
Title IV-A “well-rounded education” description included every part of the STEAM acronym. This law “[r]equires—for the first time—that all students in America be taught to high academic standards that will prepare them to succeed in college and careers.” (U.S. Department of Education). The skills that students learn in STEAM such as creativity and problem solving prepare them for the future. According to this law, K-12 students are entitled to STEAM education.
STEAM integrates these disciplines through project-based learning to catalyze inquiry, collaboration, critical thinking, innovation and other 21st century skills.
Join us in the STEAM revolution by connecting with STEAM Horizons today!